Alma’s Rainbow @ Northwest Film Forum

A movie you'll never forget 🌈

Published November 4, 2022

Ruby and Rainbow sit side-by-side surrounded by shrubs
Too Late — You Missed It!

November 10 – 17

Northwest Film Forum is great at finding archival movies that you may never have heard of but upon viewing will never forget. 1994’s Alma’s Rainbow, from experimental filmmaker Ayoka Chenzira (Hair Piece: A Film for Nappyheaded People), is a coming-of-age dramedy centered on teenage Rainbow Gold (Victoria Gabrielle Platt, Freeform’s Good Trouble) simply trying to grow up and figure out life in Brooklyn, a task enriched and complicated by her strict mother Alma and the return of her bohemian sister, Ruby. Moving in and out of the salon Alma runs out of their house, the story is a brightly colored, joyful, hip hop-infused, and entertainingly pointed story about tossing off patriarchal norms to be your own true self.

Made for only $300,000, Alma’s Rainbow is a small but vibrant and deeply influential entry in ’90s independent cinema; the NWFF page carries raves from legendary actress Ruby Dee (A Raisin in the Sun, Do the Right Thing) and directors Ava DuVernay (When They See Us) and Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), who all know a thing about raising the voices of Black female filmmakers. And the new 4K restoration, courtesy of Kino Lorber, makes it seem like no time has passed since SWV topped the Billboard charts.

📸: Northwest Film Forum

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Marcus Gorman is a Seattle-based playwright and film programmer. He once raised money for a synagogue by marathoning 15 Adam Sandler movies in one weekend. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter @marcus_gorman.

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