Film Image
34 minutes


Set in a fictitious Hollywood studio in 1942, this elegant drama contrasts society's views of Black women with their self-perceptions. An ambitious movie executive, Mignon Dupree is perceived by her associates as white; she passes. While she is proud of her African American heritage, she considers her own race and gender incidental barriers to her goals. When a Black singer is called in to sing off-camera while a famous white actress lip-syncs in a movie musical, Mignon is confronted with her own complicity in the exploitive system.
Pricing & Ordering
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Higher Education Institutions DVD Sale $275.00
K-12, Public Libraries & Select Groups DVD Sale $89.00
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"...densely brilliant ... mimes the inventions of a classic Hollywood movie to address the seductive power of the film industry from within." - Amy Taubin, THE VILLAGE VOICE
"Set in Hollywood during WWII, Illusions tells the story of Mignon Duprée, a studio executive passing for white, and Ester Jeeter, an African American singer hired to dub the voice of a white movie star. The film is a gripping critique of the power of the movies to shape perception as it explores the multiple illusions created by Hollywood and the very illusion of racial identity." - Allyson Nadia Field, L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema Exhibit
"One of the most brilliant achievements in style and concept in recent American filmmaking..." - Clyde Taylor, Guest Curator Whitney Museum of Art
"Mckee’s strong performance and growing awareness throughout the film makes it both dramatically satisfying and also richly nuanced with issues of cultural appropriation and cooptation of black music and culture for commercial gain… The film’s relevance to some of today’s mainstream film and music industries and the dismissal and appropriation of black stories is also telling." - IndieWire
"Pioneering, provocative and visionary, the L.A. Rebellion films form a crucial body of work in post-war cinema… Filmmakers such as Ben Caldwell, Larry Clark, Zeinabu Irene Davis, Barbara McCullough and Bernard Nicolas, pioneered experimental approaches, bridging cinema and the visual arts of the time with strong links to community organzations..." - George Clark, Tate Modern
"For young women of color working in personal forms of film and video, Julie Dash has become a model of how to reconcile emotions and narrative with cultural specificity." - B. Ruby Rich, Sight and Sound Magazine
No filmmaker writes history like Julie Dash. In this radical revisionist drama that fully realizes the medium's audiovisual capacities, a passing Hollywood producer sets out to change nothing less than the way Black people are seen on the big screen. - Matthew Eng, Tribeca News
• One Way or Another: Black Women's Cinema, BAMcinematek, 2016
• L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema Exhibit
• We Wanted A Revolution, Brooklyn Museum, 2017

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