Black Mother

Critics Consensus

A transfixing ode to geographic and familial roots, Black Mother pays poetic tribute to a place and culture from a brilliantly unique perspective.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 27

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Part film, part baptism, in Black Mother director Khalik Allah brings us on a spiritual exploration through Jamaica. Soaking up its bustling metropolises and tranquil countryside, Allah introduces us to a succession of vividly rendered souls who call this island home. Their candid testimonies create a polyphonic symphony, set against a visual prayer of indelible portraiture. Immersed into the sacred, the profane, and everything in-between, Black Mother channels rebellion and reverence into a deeply personal ode informed by Jamaica's turbulent history but existing in the urgent present.

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Critic Reviews for Black Mother

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (27)

  • Allah, who directed, shot, edited, and co-scored the film, avoids the literal and the linear to create a beguilingly immersive, multifaceted, vividly sensorial portrait of his mother's homeland, Jamaica.

    May 21, 2019 | Full Review…

    Jessica Kiang

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • An eternal nurturer, the black mother whom Allah dissects and praises in this transfixing hymn of a movie about the place where the woman that gave him life was born is far more than just a homeland but a direct link to the answers about existence.

    May 10, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Allah-who shot, directed, edited and sound designed his film-manages to paint a complex portrait of the island, making his visually unconventional depiction of the land come into sharp focus one provocative shot at a time.

    Mar 8, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • In its poetic, elliptical, concise way, this film makes a grand statement: The black mother is the mother of life itself.

    Mar 6, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Black Mother can at times feel nebulous, but the richness of lived experience that it captures, augmented by Allah's transportive gestures, are more than enough to compensate.

    Mar 6, 2019 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Earthy and elevated, sober and stoned, Khalik Allah's Black Mother is a tone poem whose sonic elements augment a lush and varied collection of images of Jamaica, the birthplace of Allah's mother.

    Mar 5, 2019 | Full Review…

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