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Documentary aims to dispel the myth of the Black woman

The documentary Le Mythe de la Femme noire (The Myth of the Black Woman), directed by Ayana O’Shun, has reached the top 20 at the box office in Quebec. The 94-minute feature film aims to demystify the stereotypes and clichés that surround the image of Black women in society.

With the help of moving and poignant testimonials from 21 acclaimed women of color such as: philosopher Agnès Berthelot-Raffard, activist Anastasia Marcelin, comedian and storyteller Joujou Turenne, and actress Patricia Mackenzie, O’Shun dismantles the prejudices that have shaped and continue to color the image of the black woman.

“I wanted to make this documentary as a tool to raise awareness,” says O’Shun. “I know things won’t change overnight, but I believe conversations like the one we’re having today are important.”

 

Woman stand in front of screen showing title of film.
Ayana OShun was present during a recent screening of her award winning documentary film Le Mythe de la Femme noire at Cinéma Beaubien in Montreal PHOTO Marie Nirva Louis

 

In her documentary, O’Shun deconstructs three specific stereotypes: the image of “Jezebel,” the sexualized Black woman; “Nanny,” the Black woman who takes care of everyone; and the angry Black woman, who is not taken seriously. “I chose the documentary format in particular because I feel it’s the best way to get a message across that is raw,” she says. “In my opinion, it was a really good opportunity to give voice to several women and to hear different perspectives on the impact these stereotypes have on their daily lives.”

According to research studies, the Black community is, without doubt, the minority population most negatively affected by false images created centuries ago that continue to be sustained today.

O’Shun is pleased to announce that she and her distributor, K-Films Amérique, are planning a province-wide tour to screen the documentary at various schools and festivals. The film, which won the Magnus-Isacsson Award at the International Documentary Film Festival in Montreal, will also be released on streaming platforms in 2024.

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