Illusions (16mm, b&w reversal stock, 30 mins., 1982) cinematography, Ahmed El Maanouni, written and directed by Julie Dash.
The short film depicts an African American woman, Mignon Dupree, passing as a white woman in the Hollywood film industry during the 1940s. Mignon meets Ester Jeeter, a young black singer hired to re-voice a white musical star. Unlike Mignon’s associates at the studio, Ester recognizes Mignon is an African American too.
Illusions is about intersectionality; the power of motion pictures, and how one woman struggles to navigate the film industry’s systemic issues of race, gender, and the re-imagination of contemporary events past and present.