In a Perfect World ...
(2015, 76 min., USA)
screening and discussion with Director Daphne McWilliams
Thursday, December 12th
6 - 8 pm
Institute of African American Affairs & Center for Black Visual Culture-NYU
14A Washington Mews, 1st floor space
Join Director Daphne McWilliams as she discusses her film, In a Perfect World, in which she explores the dynamics
of what it means to be a man who is raised by a single mother.
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In a Perfect World explores the dynamics of what it means to be a man who is raised by a single mother. Over the course of several years, independent filmmaker and producer Daphne McWilliams interviewed men about the relationships they had with their mothers and, to varying degrees, their absentee fathers. The documentary became both a personal depiction of her son's maturation process as well as a sociological overview of what it is like to be a man raised solely by his mother. Viewers hear the voices of men from various backgrounds and ages as they painfully share their stories and allow McWilliams to capture the men they've become. In a Perfect World is both an introspective portrait of a modern family and a probing cinematic essay that examines a societal issue that is much reported, and its consequences much debated. In the United States, there are nearly 13.6 million single parents raising over 21 million children. Single fathers are far less common than single mothers. The film goes beyond statistics and news reports to create a deeply personal and impressionistic documentary portrait.
Daphne McWilliams is a producer and Director who began her career first in front of the camera as a child actor and then behind it as a producer of music videos for such artists as Blues Traveler, the Notorious B.I.G., and Queen Latifah. In 1995, she was hired to produce the Academy Award–nominated 4 Little Girls, directed by Spike Lee, a documentary about the murder of four African American girls in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. The experience impacted her life and changed her career path; documentary filmmaking became her passion. Since that time, she has worked on the films The Curious Case of Curt Flood (Dir. Spike Lee, 2011); Slavery by Another Name (Dir. Samuel D. Pollard, 2012); and Maynard (Dir. Samuel D. Pollard, 2018), among many others. In 2016, Daphne McWilliams’s directorial debut, In a Perfect World premiered on Showtime. She is a 2019 Susan Tifft Fellow at Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
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