Imagine if the world remembered the magic, power and purpose of black women. In a mere 12-minute film, Thistles and Thorns (A Fairytale for Black Girls) brings that wonderment of the African Diaspora to the screen for our enjoyment and upliftment, Shadow and Act reports.
Directed by Kalie Acheson and written by David Vieux and Yazmin Monet Watkins, the short fairy tale follows the adventures of a young woman named Assata (played by Watkins). Crowned with a luscious natural Afro and “armed with the love of her people,” as the narrator, Watkins, explains, Assata must navigate rugged, unfamiliar terrain while encountering a series of characters—some that help, and others that try to harm. She bravely perseveres in her quest “to bring magic back to the Garden of Sisterhood,” according to Shadow and Act.
Just shy of 12 minutes long, the short film still manages deep impact. The story appears as allegory for the experiences of black women everywhere the constant assault on our identity, the berating words from naysayers—but also acknowledges and affirms the encouragement from our family and mighty ancestors, and our duty to return to them with something worthy of sharing for our legacy. It’s a story that’s empowering not only for young girls but for women, boys and men, too. All can benefit from remembering the inherent beauty and truth of black womanhood. Watch this one with the whole family:
In 2018, Thistles and Thorns won the Award of Merit at the One-Reeler Short Film Competition in Los Angeles, which is open to movies up to 12 minutes long.
Correction: Sept. 19, 2019, 9:21 p.m. ET: This story has been edited to remove unattributed text and to add fuller sourcing.