This study of scenes from the films Daughters of the Dust and Malcolm X, describes images of myth, gender, and resistance familiar to African-American interpretive communities. Key thematic and technical elements of these films are opposed to familiar Hollywood practices, indicating the directors' effort to address resisting spectators. Both filmmakers, Julie Dash and Spike Lee respectively, chose subjects with an ideological resonance in African-American collective memory: Malcolm X, eulogized by Ossie Davis as “our living black manhood”(i) and the women of the Gullah Sea Islands, a site often celebrated for its authentically African cultural survivals. Both films combine images of an African past with an American present using a pattern of historically specific myths and tropes.

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