Black Women Writers @ Southwestern University

An English / Feminist Studies / Race & Ethnicity Studies Course Blog

Living Bodies

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I happened upon a short film this weekend, I cannot remember which Facebook status I clicked on or what page shared it, but I think it is so pertinent to many of the narratives we have been looking at this semester. Also at the time I saw it, I was reading a part of Americanah that had to do with hair. So I felt the short film came to life even more so because I had another narrative to add to it.

***There is (very little but some) nudity***

Yellow Fever by Ng’endo Mukii

One aspect of the short film that I found the most thought provoking were moments where women’s bodies were twitching, almost grotesquely, during voice overs. I think one way to interpret these scenes is that Ng’endo Mukii critiques the objectification of human bodies by making them seem grotesque and un-watchable, as if to say no one should feel truly comfortable looking at anyone’s body in an objectifying manner. Not only do these scenes fight against objectification, but the scenes make it extremely obvious that these bodies are living and not commodities (which is further exacerbated by the projection of nature on them). In the same strain of thought within movies, these scenes also reminded me of my last blog post about Daughters of the Dust, where I noted that in certain scenes Julie Dash intentionally places objects in between the audience and the character in order to create a feeling of obtrusion.

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