Renowned for its depiction of Black Deaf lives, Zeinabu irene Davis’s exquisite 1999 film stars Michelle Banks, founder of Onyx Theatre Company in New York City, the first Deaf theatre company for actors of color. The film tells the stories of two Black couples—each, a deaf woman and a hearing man—falling in love at the start and end of the 20th century. As both couples draw closer, they must also navigate the intertwined—and enduring—forces of racism, ableism, and economic disparity. Using title cards, photographic montages, and reenactments of early Black silent films, Davis charts a new path for narrative film, one that embodies an ethos of accessibility by embracing the endless aesthetic possibilities of cinema itself.

Presented as part of This Set of Actions is a Mirror, multipart look at expressions of disability culture and politics in artists’ moving image.


Related programs:

New Channels of Access

Multiple artists, 1995-2018, USA and Germany, ca 72 minutes, open captions

Streaming February 22–28


Panel discussion with Dustin Gibson, Robert McRuer, Liza Sylvestre, and Minh Nguyen

Thursday, February 25, 7:00 p.m. CT

This event will have live captions and ASL interpretation.