Brown Girl Begins

Thursday 30th June

This Canadian science fiction film imagines a future of continued oppression for the poor, centring a female protagonist who must resurrect Caribbean spirits to assist with a revolution.


Director Sharon Lewis actively constructs an Afro-Futurist fable, following Ti-Jeanne, who finds herself trapped in an unfamiliar, sinister world against her will. Reluctantly pressed into taking a stand, Ti-Jeanne must use her powers as a priestess to resurrect distant Caribbean spirits to save her people, while attempting to survive the possession ritual that killed her mother.

The film is an adaptation of sorts of Brown Girl in the Ring, a 1998 novel by Jamaican-Canadian writer Nalo Hopkinson. The novel contains Afro-Caribbean culture with themes of folklore and magical realism, which are transposed into Brown Girl Begins. The film becomes a prequel to the novel, re-imagining the book’s reflections on seer traditions and obeah: a system of spiritual healing and justice-making practices developed among enslaved West Africans.

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