A feature documentary debut from Canadian writer/director Jennifer Holness, Subjects of Desire examines the history of beauty for women in the Black community both culturally and aesthetically, and what kinds of impacts that perception of beauty has had on the Black women of today’s America.

Subjects of Desire is focused to some degree on the Miss Black America pageant, which recently celebrated their 50th anniversary, and women who have been involved with it, but Holness interviews a wide spectrum of Black women. 50th Anniversary winner Miss Black America Ryann Richardson, 1st runner up Alexandra Germain, contestant and musician Seraiah Nicole, 2017 winner and PHD of African-American studies Brittany Lewis, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter India Arie, and Canadian icon Jully Black are just some who discuss their perspectives on themselves, and on how and where Blackness and beauty are seen and celebrated. There are also experts in the fields of Black history and culture, like CBC TV and radio host Amanda Parris, Dr. Cheryl Thompson, whose research focuses on critical study of media and the intersection of gender, class and power, and Dr Carolyn West, professor and writer of over 80 publications including ‘Mammy, Sapphire, Jezebel, and the Bad Girls of Reality Television: Media Representations of Black Women’.

For the complete review, go to AWFJ.org HERE.