Emma Mae (a.k.a. Black Sister’s Revenge)
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Dir. Jamaa Fanaka. 1976, 100 mins. 35mm. With Jerri Hayes. Emma Mae is a sympathetic portrait of a young Black woman (Hayes) from the South and her difficult adjustment to life in the big city. After the death of her mother, she travels by bus from Mississippi to L.A., her rough country edges on full display. While Emma Mae’s proficiency in kicking ass echoes that of the super-mama heroines who populated other character-named films of this Blaxploitation era, she is not presented as an impossibly glamorous vixen. On the contrary, her plain looks and shy demeanor seem to necessitate her physical and emotional strength.
A Day in the Life of Willie Faust, or Death on the Installment Plan
Dir. Jamaa Fanaka (as Walt Gordon). 1972, 20 mins. Digital projection. With Baby Katina. An adaption of Goethe’s Faust with a nonsynchronous soundtrack and superimposed over a remake of Super Fly (1972), Fanaka’s first project plays off of Blaxploitation’s genre conventions.
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