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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sisters in Cinema: Kasi Lemmon’s Eve’s Bayou

Making a movie as a Black woman in Hollywood is hard work and its not getting any easier to get your worked produced according to writer, producer and director, Kasi Lemmon. About 75 fans of Kasi Lemmon came to the National Museum of Women in the Arts as apart of the Sisters in Cinema series last Thursday. The event started with white wine, strawberries and seasonal fruit. Fans had a chance to socialize and multiple discussions of their favorite films and directors were spoken amongst the crowd.

The featured film, Eve’s Bayou began and for 109 minutes, viewers were engulfed in one of Louisiana’s most sophisticated families while they revealed their family secrets and practices of voodoo. At the end of the movie, to applause, Kasi Lemmon approached the palladium to discuss her film. Fans stated that they loved her movie, which they said unfolded like a Toni Morrison novel. Lemmon stated that the idea for the movie stemmed from a love of Louisiana’s cultural and literature such as Toni Morrison’s love.

Eve’s Bayou was Lemmon’s first film because it was the role she always wanted to play and while the process to get her film produced happened quickly and she realized that after meeting with different companies and producers that her film could easily be taken out of context by a big Hollywood studio company and director. So, Lemmon took matters in her own hands and made a film, which she would want to see with a cast full of her friends.

Nijla Mumin, a Howard University graduate film student attended the event and thoroughly enjoyed herself. “Tonight’s event was inspiration. Eve’s Bayou is one of my favorite films and as an aspiring filmmaker it just felt good to hear Mrs. Lemmon speak. And I can watch Eve’s Bayou over and over again.”

Monique Hazeur, also a Howard University graduate film student agreed with Mumin saying the event, Sisters in Cinema was inspiration. “ You can tell Mrs. Lemmon has a love for literature, the scenes and the texture looks like a book. I love Eve’s Boyou, it’s a film that I aspire to make one day.”

When asked if it is truly hard for a Black film to get made in Hollywood, Lemmon responded by saying, “It is and unfortunately it is not getting any easier. Eve’s Bayou would not get made today in Hollywood, if I thought it was hard when I made the film in 1997 and its even harder now.”

Lemmon also expressed how the troubles a producer, writer faces when trying to make a Black drama. “Black comedies, certain level of Black thrillers can be made but studios just stop taking risks with Black independent dramas.”

Lemmon continued by stating that the Black writers, producers and directors all stick together in Hollywood and a lot of them are her friends along with Black actors. “ I am a friend of Tyler Perry and I am extremely proud of all that he has accomplished,” Lemmon states.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts presents the Asian Pacific American Women Film Festival tomorrow, October 1, 2008

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