As we’ve already covered, Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It celebrates its 25th anniversary this year; another title also celebrating a pivotal release anniversary this year is Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust – her challenging seminal feature film, set in the very early 1900s, which takes a look at Gullah Geechee culture of the sea islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia; a film that, in 2004, was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant“.
The film celebrates its 20th anniversary this year; it debuted at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival, and later screened at Toronto that same year. There are conflicting dates as to when it was officially distributed; IMDB says its USA release date (post its festival run) was December 27th 1991; Box Offce Mojo lists its release date as January 3 1992.
Also, the film’s distributor, Kino Lorber lists its release year on their website as 1991, though it doesn’t give a specific date, so I’m going with the December 27 1991 date. January 3rd 1992 was exactly 1 week later.
In recognition of the film’s 20th, the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston, the International African American Museum, and the South Carolina Historical Society will host a symposium on September 16 through 17, which will celebrate the film with a variety of events, including panels on Gullah art, African-American film, of course a screening of Daughters Of The Dust, and much more.
Scholars from all over the country will be in attendance, and Julie Dash herself will certainly be present to give a keynote address, as well as lead a discussion with actors from the film.
Visit the Avery Research Center’s website for the symposium’s full schedule of events, and to register if you’re interested in attending.
Registration is FREE, though there’s a $30 buffet/luncheon fee on both days.
Here’s the film’s trailer: