Friday, November 30, 2007

Giving a voice to black life

A who’s who of black Charlotte turned out for a red carpet screening of “All About Us” at Ballantyne Village Theater on Thursday.

Former mayor Harvey Gantt was there, along with former mayor pro tem Patrick Cannon, in addition to club owners, promoters and others. They all came out to see the indie film, by the husband-and-wife team of producer Michael Swanson and writer-director Christine Swanson. They also came to see the film’s stars, Ruby Dee and Boris Kodjoe. Both hung out for a Q&A and a cake and coffee reception afterward. It was a semi-formal event, with many people wearing evening dresses and suits.

The film drew praise from most of the people who got to see it. During the Q&A, Dee talked about the importance of having more films that explore the complexity of relationships among black men and women. She also talked about how Hollywood rarely expresses interest in those types of films.

During the reception, sponsored by Baileys, she posed for pictures with fans. Her fans quietly shook her hand and talked with her. Kodjoe’s fans, however, squealed as they gathered for shots. It was funny and fun to see women dressed in cocktail dresses acting like schoolgirls.

The movie begins an open-ended run of at least two weeks tonight at Ballantyne Village Theater.