BLACK VOICES
12/29/2017 20:00 EST

Women Rewrite The Constitution In Jay-Z's 'Family Feud,' Directed By Ava DuVernay

People of color are the foundation of the future in this short film.

Ava DuVernay’s new short film for Jay-Z’s single, “Family Feud,” has a vision for America’s future ― and it’s one forged by people of color and run by powerful women.

The eight-minute video debuted on Tidal at 4:44 p.m. Eastern time on Friday. Though typically protected by a paywall, viewers can now watch using Tidal’s free trial, available only during the holidays.

“Family Feud” imagines what America’s future will look like more than 100 years from now, with people of color fighting fierce battles and a council of women known as the “Founding Mothers” rewriting the U.S. Constitution. 

“What else is there to say,” DuVernay tweeted Friday, referencing the female leaders in the film. “I believe in our power. And I appreciate these dynamic artists who came out on a Saturday to represents all kinds of women at the table. Not a seat. ALL THE SEATS!”

The film by DuVernay, the brain behind “Selma” and the upcoming “A Wrinkle in Time,” features a blinding all-star cast, including transgender activist Janet Mock, Native American actress Irene Bedard, and actors like Michael B. Jordan, Rosario Dawson, Jessica Chastain, Brie Larson, Constance Wu, Mindy Kaling, America Ferrara, Rashida Jones, Thandie Newton and others.

Jay-Z’s family ― Beyoncé and Blue Ivy Carter ― also make an appearance.

After the release, a few of the film’s stars shared a powerful group photo featuring the “Founding Mothers.”

It is impossible to ignore the symbolism in the film. Many saw it as a celebration of black identity and communities of color ― including indigenous communities.

Others praised a future based on the values of women of diverse backgrounds.

DuVernay took some time Friday to explain some of the symbols in film and shared behind-the-scenes photos of its making. 

The first scene, with Dawson and Jordan, “focuses on errors,” the director tweeted. “All families hurt each other. Mistakes are made. Expectations unmet. Jealousies fester.”

DuVernay also pointed out that the film features two U.S. presidents, an idea that she said Jay-Z was eager to accept.

“I loved the idea of [there] being Co-Presidents of the United States in the future. And that a Native American woman was one of them,” she wrote. “This country will not stay the same.”

DuVernay also thanked those who appeared in her film in a series of tweets.

After a year of Women’s Marches, protests led by indigenous communities, the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement and the ascension of the #MeToo movement, the film’s message couldn’t be more timely. 

Watch a preview of Jay-Z’s “Family Feud” in the video above, or watch the full version here on Tidal.

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