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Dear Mama...

The death of a musical icon draws different reactions from a father and his young, artistic daughter, forcing them to confront the emotional aftermath of their own tragedy as they begin to heal.

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new yorker



Director's Statement

Dear Mama… is a powerful story about moving through grief. It follows a teenager, trying to find her way forward after losing her mother. We meet Tanisha and her dad Nate on the night they’re packing up their family home—an undertaking that forces them to face the question, “What do we do with mom’s stuff?” As they’re grappling with this decision, the news of Tupac’s death breaks on TV. We see both Tanisha and her father struggling to reconcile the pain of loss with the realities of the present. Tackling themes of grief and healing through the lens of a Black family and hip hop music was incredibly meaningful for me. 


As a Black woman and a lover of hip hop, I recognize a lot of myself in Tanisha. I’ve never seen a story that centers a young Black girl finding solace in hip hop as she works through her pain. In the early 90’s, there were many misconceptions about hip hop, and the influence it might have on our youth. But for Tanisha, hip hop provides a lifeline when she feels most lost. It’s in the music that she can feel comforted and understood. It’s in the music that she still feels a strong connection to her mother, a connection that she fights to keep despite her father’s resistance. At a time when so many of us are navigating through grief and trying to find a path toward healing, I hope this film can be a reminder that none of us are in this alone.


   Winter Dunn

       Director of Dear Mama…

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