Part dance film, part documentary, Black Stains is a poignant and sobering meditation on what it means to be a black man in today’s society. Moving with uncompromising physicality, an all male ensemble destabilizes conventional assumptions of masculinity and racial stereotypes as they navigate through an urban landscape while battling their own emotional terrain. Interviews with men from varying ages bring abstract issues into sharper focus as their personal stories reveal the vulnerability and consequences of a racialized world. The film is inspired by the personal experiences of collaborator Trent D. Williams, Jr., an African-American male choreographer and educator whose choreography is the driving force behind the film.
Black Stains is a creative collaboration between Williams and Rhynard who have found common ground in dance and activism. Williams’ choreography draws on material from literature, history, and movies that cover many aspects of human behavior including reflections on how social inequalities are impacting our changing world. Through this approach he strives to expose a sense of vulnerability, and new possibilities for illuminating hope, building and strengthening communities and encouraging greater understanding seldom dealt with in concert dance. Rhynard’s mission as a filmmaker is to create visually compelling films that illuminate current social issues, awaken our capacity for human empathy and compel the viewer toward action. Drawing on her experiences as a dancer and choreographer, she uses the visual format of film and the kinesthetic capability of movement to illustrate both positive and destructive patterns of social behavior in an effort to expand human connection.
Directed, filmed and edited
by Tiffany Rhynard
by Trent D. Williams, Jr.