Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis

Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis

6 Episodes

Emerging from the explosion of Black cinematic creativity known as the LA Rebellion, Zeinabu irene Davis combines narrative storytelling and a range of poetic experimental techniques to give voice to African American women’s experiences of love, joy, struggle, and self-realization. Her sublime feature COMPENSATION—one of the most unjustly neglected works of 1990s American independent cinema—incorporates sign language and silent-film techniques as it traces two love stories involving Black deaf characters across generations. It is presented alongside innovative works like CYCLES and A POWERFUL THANG, in which Davis employs animation and Afro-Haitian dance to lyrically portray intimate moments in the lives of Black women.

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Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis
  • Meet Zeinabu irene Davis

    Episode 1

    This interview with director Zeinabu irene Davis was recorded in 2020.

  • A Powerful Thang

    Episode 2

    Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis • 1991 • United States
    Starring Barbarao, John Earl Jelks, Asma Feyijinmi

    This innovative drama, set in Ohio, traces a Black couple’s search for intimacy and friendship. The spirited, African-identified Yasmine (Asma Feyijinmi) is a writer and single mother who ha...

  • Compensation

    Episode 3

    Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis • 1999 • United States
    Starring John Earl Jelks, Michelle A. Banks, Nirvana Cobb

    The first feature by LA Rebellion trailblazer Zeinabu irene Davis presents two unique Black American love stories between a deaf woman and a hearing man. Inspired by a poem written by...

  • Crocodile Conspiracy

    Episode 4

    Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis • 1986 • United States
    Starring Sandra Sealy, John Earl Jelks

    This charming tale focuses on Willa Ledbetter, a Black middle-aged schoolteacher in Watts, Los Angeles, and her longing to visit her parents’ homeland of Cuba. In the face of unexpected political and fa...

  • Cycles

    Episode 5

    Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis • 1989 • United States
    Starring Stephanie Ingram

    A woman performs a purification ritual as she anxiously awaits her period and attempts to determine if she is pregnant. Drawing on Caribbean folklore, this exuberant experimental drama uses animation and live action...

  • Mother of the River

    Episode 6

    Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis • 1995 • United States
    Starring Joy Vandervort-Cobb, Monique Coleman, Michael L. Nesbitt

    In this poignant story set in the 1850s, a young enslaved girl befriends a magical woman named Mother of the River. Through their friendship, the young girl learns about indep...