E Minha Cara/That’s My Face is a mythopoetic odyssey exploring identity and spirituality across three generations of an African-American family. USA, East Africa and Brazil.
Shari Frilot, Programmer, 2002 Sundance Film Festival:
Astoundingly beautiful and epic in scope, That’s My Face (é minha cara) is a personal documentary offering an entire generation of African Americans a groundbreaking perspective on the maddening diasporic search for a mythic motherland. In healing his own cultural yearnings, director Thomas Allen Harris journeys beyond the political movements of his day and into a spiritual realm where he finds much more then he expects.
His grandparents’ African Methodist-Episcopal church taught Thomas as a child that Africa was a place that could only be saved by Christian missionaries. But his rebellious mother was part of the 1970s’ movement that regarded Africa as home “because we knew America didn’t want us” and migrated the family to Tanzania, East Africa. When they arrived in the modern city of Dar-es-Saalam, Africa seemed more like Miami than the motherland they imagined.
Thomas learned to love Africa for what it was, but when he returned to the Bronx, he was unable to express his newfound identity. Even his African Methodist-Episcopalian faith failed to provide him comfort until he learned from an Afro-Brazilian friend that beneath the patina of conventional Christian iconography is a rich double life of African ancestral spirit worship. Like his mother, Thomas embarks on a migration across the ocean, this time to Brazil, in an effort to find a sense of home and belonging. Shot entirely on Super-8 film and employing an innovative sound design that uses rap and hip-hop multivoice sampling, That’s My Face is as much an artistic gem as a spiritual gift.
“A visually gorgeous melding of poetry and politics.” -Ernest Hardy, LA Weekly
“The impressionist beauty of Harris’s Super-8 footage should give pause to anyone continuing to shoot their documentaries on digital video.” – Anthony Kaufman, The Village Voice
“Mesmerizing documentary…” – Ronnie Scheib, Variety
“The impressionist beauty of Harris’s Super–8 footage should give pause to anyone continuing to shoot their documentaries on digital video.”—The Village Voice
– 2001 Toronto International Film Festival – World Premiere
– International Filmmaker Award -Toronto Reel Black Awards 2002
– Gordon Parks Award Finalist -Independent Feature Project Market 2001
– 2002 Sundance International Film Festival – USA Premiere
– 2002 Berlin International Film Festival – Prize of the Churches of the Ecumenical Jury
– 2002 Tribeca Film Festival – New York Premiere
– 2002 Denver Pan-African Film Festival – Best Documentary
– 2002 San Francisco Black Film Festival – Best Documentary