Like Dolls, I'll Rise
From the 1840s until the 1940s, anonymous Afro-American women made rag dolls for their own children or for the white children they were looking after. Black, injured, forgotten and magnificent dolls, gathered together over the years in Debbie Neff’s collection, here lend their moving expressive features to the women that a century of slavery, segregation and racism tried to silence. Far from being the mute witnesses of their suffering, dreams and courage, these objects haunted by so many stories become, for the length of this film, the intermediaries of a discourse of self-affirmation and liberation. From Sojourner Truth to Maya Angelou, Like Dolls I'll Rise is inhabited by the voices of these women, writers, poets, activists, who brought the history of black America, and that of the long-ignored women, out of the shadows. The faces, in flesh and in canvas, revealed to us by Nora Philippe, are then no longer ghosts looming out of the past but figures of resistance, also meaningful in today’s Afro-feminist struggles.