Interview with Yaani Supreme Producer of Women And The Word: The Revival

The Scottish Premiere of Women and the Word: The Revival screens on the October 2nd at the CCA.

The documentary is a road movie of the slam poetry Revival Tour and a celebration of the written and spoken words and lives and loves of queer women of color.

What inspired the Revival tour and you to go on the road and film it as well?
The Revival came out of necessity. I was writing a lot. I was lonely. I was trying to figure out how to provide for myself without getting a so-called job. I had been doing open mics and events in my living room before, and the tour was just an evolution of that project. Make poetry an experience, reach more people. I’m here to live to thrive. to laugh. to love unapologetically. Let it be a model for that. And a thank you for our ancestors and elders who paved the entire way. The movie was a wonderful accident. I was trying to get Sekiya Dorsett (the director), to come on as a sponsor of the tour. And she offered to film.

How long did the film take to make?
The filmmakers came on two tours, and after that there was over one hundred hours of footage to get through. Then it took three, four years to complete. And now we’re here. We also did a $15,000 kickstarter! Woot woot! And made it!

What were the best and worst parts of the tour?
The best part of the tour for me was the last day, I had did it. A budget of about five, six G’s. People who didn’t know each other, sold out in each city. I was really extremely proud of myself. But at the same time it was a low point, cuz when you work so hard on something and see it into fruition– sometimes once it’s done… you get low. Because it’s done, because you don’t know what’s next.

What was it like being stuck in a van for hours on the road?
We talked about everything in that car! What pieces made it to the movie is all Sekiya. I think she did a great job at making sure things you don’t get to hear, are said. I think the car was a big deal for us, as well as full of gems for the director. Seven black women (the performers, me, the manager, and 2 camera people) in a minivan for over 24 hours of driving. We talked about a lot, music, gender presentation, lovers, politics, motherhood, and recipes. But more important than what we talked about– was our silences. We shared and breathed and loved up on one another, if someone was sleepy another took the slack even if she just drove. If someone went to the store she came back with snacks for everybody, you feel me? When we saw police officers we all took a collective breath. We all packed the car even though it was Eli’s ‘job.’ It was leather interior too, we rode in style.

Locs vs Fros?
Hahaa! You must have never had to maintain a fro to be asking that.

What has been the reception in the audience?
This film has gotten soooo much love. And good juicy questions in the Q&As. A lot of questions about how this reflects the African diaspora and how we can get it into more communities. A lot of affirmations around the poetry and Be’s music. We’ve been to London, The Bay, LA, DC, Houston. We’re excited as we bring the movie to NEW YORK in September. This movie was birthed in Brooklyn. I was reborn in Brooklyn.

Women and The Word: The Revival Website

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