The Giverny Document (Single Channel) (2019)

  • Documentary
  • 42min

This poetic exploration of black womanhood and bodily autonomy contemplates what it means to feel safe while existing in a body that is simultaneously black and female. An experimental meditation, the film uses a multifaceted approach, gracefully weaving different visual styles and editing techniques. In interviews on the streets of Harlem, filmmaker Ja’Tovia Gary asks black women of all ages to consider their safety: in their bodies, in their neighborhoods, in the world. Exquisitely shot scenes of Gary in Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, are juxtaposed with cell phone footage and arresting archival video, including a performance by Nina Simone. The montage-style editing, accompanied by a distorted audio track, creates a surreal composition of images and sounds that examines the identity and safety of black women in a white, patriarchal society. SAM