Director Haile Gerima, along with none other than LA Rebellion favorite Charles Burnett as his DP, crafts a riveting portrait of disenfranchisement that is painfully relevant today. It's a critique of the broken system, but also turns its eye inward to examine the fractures within the black community itself. To me, it's among the finest depictions of systemic racism and the day-to-day survival within it. It lives firmly in a neorealist realm, but expands into all kinds of expressionistic, surrealist, and avant-garde territory to depict the inner-personal strife of Dorothy. The arthouse flashes never feel like borrowed moves or departures from the form. They are essential to the movie. Bush Mama has an immaculate flow, like a living, breathing organism. Music, soliloquy, and unscripted altercations are ongoing and overlapping. It is a beautiful film, but prepare yourself to be very fucking sad afterwards. Not because the ending is sad, but because there's no end in sight.
Scavenger Hunt 55