Alma's Rainbow (DVD)
Alma’s Rainbow is a coming-of-age comedy-drama about three Black women living in Brooklyn. Ayoka Chenzira’s feature film explores the life of teenager Rainbow Gold (Victoria Gabrielle Platt) who is entering womanhood and navigating conversations and experiences around standards of beauty, self-image, and the rights women have over their bodies. Rainbow attends a strict parochial school, studies dance, and is just becoming aware of boys. She lives with her strait-laced mother Alma Gold (Kim Weston-Moran), who runs a beauty parlor in the parlor of their home. When Alma’s free-spirited sister Ruby (Mizan Kirby) arrives from Paris after a 10-year absence, the sisters clash over what constitutes the “proper” direction Rainbow’s life should take. Alma has fooled herself into believing she has no need of male companionship and advises her daughter to follow her example. Ruby encourages both her niece and her sister to embrace life – and love – fully and joyfully. Alma’s Rainbow highlights a multi-layered Black women’s world where the characters live, love, and wrestle with what it means to exert and exercise their agency. Restoration by the Academy Film Archive, Film Foundation, and Milestone Films. Restoration supervised by Mark Toscano. Funding provided by The Film Foundation and Hobson Lucas Family Foundation.
• Panel discussion after world premiere of 4K restoration at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
• Ayoka Chenzira on Alma’s Rainbow (oral history recorded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences)
• Peggy Dillard Toone on Alma’s Rainbow
• Short Films by Ayoka Chenzira: Sylvilla: They Dance to Her Drum / Hairpiece: A Film for Nappy Headed People / The Lure and the Lore / Zajota and the Boogie Spirit / Pull Your Head to the Moon: Stories of Creole Women / Williamswood / MOTV (My Own TV) / Snowfire / In the Rivers of Mercy Angst / HERadventure
- Ayoka Chenzira - Director
- Kim Weston-Moran - Actor
- Victoria Gabrielle Platt - Actor
- Mizan Kirby - Actor
- Mizan Nunes - Actor
- Lee Dobson - Actor
- Ronald K. Gray - Cinematographer
- Lillian Benson - Editor
"A gorgeous clarion call for our young Black girls, heralding the community, creativity and confidence that is the pride of our culture.”
“Chenzira's much celebrated and award winning early work is essential viewing today as much as it was when first released in 1994.”
"Ayoka has been and remains an important filmmaker whose works inspire and celebrate the richness of Black culture. Through her vision, we witness the pain and beauty of the Black experience in a way that encourages hope and love. We need this."
“Explores the interior lives of Black women with loving acuity… and a whole lot of heart and humor.”
“Unspools the complex relationships between two generations of women.”
"An integral part of ’90s Black cinema.”
“A richly seasoned dish with humorous seasoning."
“Heartfelt, visually stunning, and poignant for Black girls and women.”
“Timely and urgent. A complex portrait of Black womanhood that was all too uncommon for the era.”