So I’m walking with my best friend and we always talk about all things: current events, politics and most of all, we have a love for all things nerdy and film-oriented. A day doesn’t go by where we share or debate the merits/demerits of political candidates, the latest social scandal or a flick hitting movie theaters.
This is where Stella Meghie’s ” The Photograph” comes in. Here’s some context: Canadian Born, Stella has what might be the most anticipated film hitting theaters on Valentine’s Day. The Photograph story occurs “When famed photographer Christina Eames dies unexpectedly, she leaves her estranged daughter, Mae, hurt, angry and full of questions. When Mae finds a photograph tucked away in a safe-deposit box, she soon finds herself delving into her mother’s early life — an investigation that leads to an unexpected romance with a rising journalist.” (SOURCE)
Why has this movie has struck a cord so much with me? I for one, cannot wait to run and see it because collectively my best friend and I couldn’t remember or place a black, romance film done in the last twenty years. What was the last one? Love Jones? (which is also available on Netflix ya’ll). With the recent addition of The Photograph, we questioned why was a pure African-American, love story missing from mainstream movies in recent years? I mean, I’m about a love story, a black love story even more so. I mean you can catch me watching Deliver Us From Eva ( High Key love Gabrielle Union) to Vivica Fox giving me assertive and got it together in Two Can Play That Game, but there was definitely a gap in trying to figure out when a movie like this had last been released. I enjoy taking in a theater released love story that’s steeped in external trauma. I love Barry Jenkins y’all so Moonlight and If Beal Street Could Talk counts for me, but they are hard pills to swallow emotionally. Even Queen and Slim, it’s a love story yes, but it is also a story wrought with looming tragedy. I could see past the stories that have deep conflict or disfunction and enjoy them just the same.
For me, The Photograph, which is poised to bring love, blackness and the always amazing Issa Rae together with a soul-searching story line, that throws in a cross generational element and I realized clearly from the teaser what I was missing in my life. I applaud the story and honestly place it somewhere special because it’s what has been missing in cinema for a quite a while now (remember I said it’s been twenty years earlier?) and that’s worth going to a theater and supporting for the message it can send to the audience, to young love.
Issae Rae spoke to XONecole.com and said regarding the timeless Love Jones that
“I remember seeing Nia Long, and you know, I didn’t think I looked like Nia Long, but I was like, ‘Look at this brown skin girl…she’s so gorgeous.’ And she was someone to aspire to. So the more and more images that we have like that, the more it’s a recognition of our beauty.”
I couldn’t agree more. Go see it Champs.
‘The Photograph’ Is A Visual Sanctuary Where Dark Skin Women Are Extolled As Soft, Vulnerable And Deserving Of Love
Normal love stories are our birthright, not just some fantasy.
By Keiyara Kelly
The Art of Shooting a Modern Black Romance
In The Photograph, starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield, the director Stella Meghie embraces darker lighting and story lines alike.
By Hannah Giorgis