With Descendant, filmmaker Margaret Brown finds poetry where most would see the opportunity for a polemic.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Descendant isn’t just necessary. It’s urgent.
There is a searching, ruminative dialogue running throughout the film. Brown and editors Michael Bloch and Geoffrey Richman beautifully weave together disparate voices into a meditative chorus.
With Descendant, Brown wisely chooses to be respectfully, poetically alert instead of imposing, as her use of archival footage shot by Hurston suggests: She’s adding to a pioneering Black filmmaker’s anthropological empathy, updating the conversation, witnessing the witnessers.