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The Door by Ava DuVernay

via Miu Miu:

The Door, by Ava DuVernay, the fifth Miu Miu Women’s Tale, is a celebration of the transformative power of feminine bonds, and a symbolic story of life change.

The symbolic centre of The Door is the front entrance of the protagonist’s home. As she opens it to greet a friend in the powerfully framed opening scenes, she is shrouded in an oblique sadness. “In the film, characters arrive at the door of a friend in need, bringing something of themselves,” explains director DuVernay. “Eventually, we witness our heroine ready to walk through the door on her own. The door in the film represents a pathway to who we are.”

Clothing is also a symbol of renewal, each change of costume charting our heroine’s emergence from a chrysalis of sadness. In the final scenes, she takes off her ring, pulls on long, black leather gloves, and walks, transformed by the emotive power of the clothing, through the door.

Ava DuVernay was the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at Sundance Film Festival, for her second feature, Middle of Nowhere, in 2012. The Door stars Gabrielle Union, Alfre Woodard, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Adepero Oduye and singer-songwriter Goapele.

My quick impression: I love everything here. Silk and water and hair as textures. Warm colors and red silhouettes. Most of all, I love the gaze and the power implicit in black women gazing, touching, and being touched. There is intimacy there in being, seeing, and feeling.  There is pleasure and desire. Which means, given the plot of the short film, there is pleasure and desire in healing, that pleasure and desire are necessary for healing…

I had an amazing conversation with a colleague today about pleasure, desire, and intimacy and how to find them in the archive when studying women of color during the period of slavery.  And we grappled with what is required of a researcher who wishes to read against the grain for those moments.  I didn’t have answers for her, not yet, but I know this: Already I’m parched and thankful for every shivering drop I’m able to wring forth. Those moments are more precious to me than diamonds and shine brighter.

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