In the cannon of documentary films, stories exploring the complexities of black women’s lives are rarely told: black feminists are seldom heard nor seen, and black lesbians are practically invisible.
Passionate Pursuits provides a window into the life of Angela Bowen who grew up in inner city Boston during the Jim Crow era, and went on to become a classical ballerina, a legendary dance teacher, a black lesbian feminist activist organizer, writer and professor.
For six decades Bowen has influenced and inspired untold numbers, speaking out as strongly for the Arts, and Black and Women’s Rights as she has for LGBT Rights.
Her stories reveal how she managed to be her authentic self wherever and whenever she stood and how the challenges of race, class, gender, age, and sexuality played into her decisions and strategies for survival.
The documentary includes rare footage “Jazz Train,” an “All Sepia Show” that Bowen toured with in Europe the late 1950s, performances by the Bowen/Peters dancers, excerpts from speeches by Audre Lorde, and television programs featuring Bowen and Barbara Smith.
PASSIONATE PURSUITS is important to anyone who wants to know more about the experiences and complexities of black women’s lives and the emergence of Black Feminism. The film is intended to challenge and inspire diverse audiences to pursue their own dreams with tenacity and courage, but not for themselves alone.