Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich2023

Filmmaker and artist Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich makes films that poetically and rigorously revitalize inherited cinematic language and illuminate oft-neglected Black women’s lives past and present. Rooted in narrative and documentary traditions, in an aesthetic and political sensibility and elegant use of sound, she is using different logics – like dream and fragment - as important structures for telling stories.

Through rigorous archival research and oral histories she attends to subversive and overlooked histories. Her recent film installation, Too Bright to See (Part I), sheds light on the legacy of Martinique-born writer Suzanne Roussi-Césaire, who, with her husband Aimé Césaire, was at the forefront of Négritude, Pan-Africanism, Afro-Surrealism, and the Black Power movements. An earlier film, Spit on the Broom reveals the history of the United Order of Tents—the oldest African American women’s group in the United States, established by freed slaves in 1867 -- without giving away their secrets.

Essential to her creative work is a spirit of deep engagement and play. She frequently works collaboratively with performers and visual artists. Driving her oeuvre? The question: “How can photographic technology and its processes open up a space for us to tend our wounds?”


“I believe that experimenting with film form is the poetic response to a desire for new strategies of visibility, new ways of sharing knowledge or being moved by art.”

photo: Eric Hart Jr.