Monday, November 1, 2010


I had the privilege of attending a private screening of FOR COLORED GIRLS last Friday night. As a colored girl whose life was changed by reading, seeing, performing in and teaching the text to undergrads while I was in graduate school, I was ready not to like the Tyler Perry film. Could the creator of Medea really pull off translating this beloved classic from theater to cinema?

Well. The film is not perfect (What film is?) The performances are solid. My favorite moments are by all the theater divas -- Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad, and Loretta Divine. Wait until you see an intense scene shared by Ms. Rashad and Thandie Newton. You will shout "WORK!" just like we did during the screening.

The film works best when it stays true to Ntozake Shange's language and its original intent. Things go a bit awry when the poetry going into and coming out of the narrative feels forced, contrived. BUT. It is truly a joy to see black women, in all our various shades of black, on screen in living color.

When you see FOR COLORED GIRLS (and you must experience the film), see it with several generations of women, if possible. Go to a restaurant, diner, or cafe afterwards and break bread. Talk. Connect. Be blessed by the experience. And look for the Broadway revival of the play for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf in 2011.

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