BLOOD RUNS DOWN, written & directed by Zandashe Brown is a short film about inheritance, daughterhood, and demons.
It’s the night before Anas birthday, a time almost like Christmas when a child eagerly awaits the excitement of the next day. Her Mother Elize, wants to make sure everything is perfect and has tried to do all she can to make her daughters birthday dreams a reality.
There is a real haunting beauty about this film. I had to watch it five times, back to back in order to really submerge myself in its layers. Music by Sultana Isham creates a mood that is thick with images of generations of black women, working, loving, baring, laughing, and sinking. The soundtrack becomes another character, a fly on the wall, watching as these two women both wrestle their own demons. What touched me the most about this film is that self-care has to become a priority. When it isn’t, lack of sleep, the will to do our hair, and getting up on time, all become demons that wrap their arms around and slowly pull you down.
Like a cup filling up until it runs over, we are mothers, caretakers, lovers, providers, activists, daughters, and historians. At what point do we baptise ourselves in the waters that wash us clean. To tell us its ok to not be all things to people in our lives, but be everything to ourselves?
Farrah Martin breathes life into her portrayal of Ana. She reminds us all of what it’s like to love someone fiercely, but also fear them. Idella Johnson is a powerhouse in this role. In such a brief amount of time, she masterfully takes us on an emotional ride that is both gut-wrenching and full of strength.
The power of love and fight that Elise has in her is so strong I felt it in my heart and bones. Beautifully shot, and something to not just watch but experience, BLOOD RUNS DOWN is a barefoot walk into the depths of the dark that is done with courage and love.