Elisha has written 12 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ during 2021.

  • Sink or Swim

    Sink or Swim


    Wow is all I can say.

    Also, make sure you check out this great interview with Su Friedrich conducted by @rdelany from Split Tooth Media!!

  • Trust



    “Why have you done this?”
    “Done what?”
    “Why do you put up with me like this?”
    ”Someone had to.”
    ”But why you?”
    ”I just happened to be here.”

    So glad I gave this another chance. A few of my favorite things:

    • Maria’s mother telling Maria to go get her comb—ergo, manipulating her—while simultaneously telling her that she’s in charge of her own life.

    • Hartley’s focus on faces, particularly those of women, coping silently with their own lives while…

  • What Happened Was...

    What Happened Was...


    This honestly shifted something inside of me by the end. It's one of the most tense, humane, and unconventionally terrifying films I've ever seen. Some people find it funny, and certainly some of it is. It’s available on Amazon Prime and if you haven't yet, you should watchlist it.

    SPOILERS (don't spoil it!):

    The laughs come a moment too late. The silences and stares last a moment too long. Their bodies and words never find the right rhythm, never connect…

  • Killer of Sheep

    Killer of Sheep


    But while a voice within me cries
    I know someone may answer my call
    This bitter earth
    may not be so bitter
    after all

    Beauty in the midst of despair. Despair resting on the edge of beauty. Missing and finding each other beneath the weight of our tightly held personal problems. It all reminds me of Amiri Baraka’s Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note. Now that I have a bit more life behind me, I understand Stan’s Wife on a level I never could before. Such a perfect film to grow through life with.

  • Meantime



    "It’s funny, I thought the world was round."

    ”No, it’s flat."

    I can’t even begin with this film tonight. I’ll just have to get into it on a rewatch, because each relationship here is so perfectly explored. I’m left floored by how much of my shared emotional life with my brother is reflected in Mark and Colin’s relationship. There’s a deep amount of understanding—of intent and affect—behind every barb and glance that flourishes to the surface as something beautiful by the end. It’s unparalleled for me in that regard. New favorite.

  • Killer of Sheep

    Killer of Sheep



    If you didn’t know, Charles Burnett and Haile Gerima are holding a webinar/conversation with UT via Zoom on March 4th at 5:30 PM CT. 

    You can register for the meeting HERE!

    Tell ya friends!! And shoutout to Alec for telling me!

    Also, if you want a link to watch Gerima’s Ashes & Embers beforehand, check my review for it here.

  • Betty Tells Her Story

    Betty Tells Her Story


    Y’all, watch this. Wow.

  • Stories We Tell

    Stories We Tell


    Had the benefit of going into this completely blind on a bad day, so if you haven’t seen it I’m offering you the same pleasant surprise (there are many, many surprises here). Collective memory reanimates the many faces of lost loved ones, and myths are genuinely just as integral to understanding an individual as any aspirations to truthfulness. Polley questions all perspectives, and even the pursuit of shaping those perspectives, in an attempt to root herself and the concept of…

  • No Country for Old Men

    No Country for Old Men


    Few things better in life than getting to watch a movie with Pops 💙

  • Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris

    Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris


    Decided to spend a couple minutes of my birthday with Jimmy, and it was well spent. The man has lightning behind his eyes and in his every word. And an incredible smile that forces you to do the same 💙


    Also, I love how contentious these two sets of people are, and that all of that contentiousness is set in the direction of trying to understand each other. It’s a rare instance of white documentarians successfully documenting a Black…

  • Passing Through

    Passing Through


    FUCKING FINALLY! You can stream this film on rarefilm.com, and you can find a downloadable version of it on archive.org. S/O to Ciara for the link to the first!!

    Now I'm going to try to condense and make cohesive the many thoughts I have about this film.


    Lately I've been chewing at this conversation between Arthur Jaffa & Haile Gerima, wherein Jaffa speaks a bit about the shape that a film has. I thought this was interesting, but I can't…

  • Statues Hardly Ever Smile

    Statues Hardly Ever Smile


    You can find this film and plenty of other rare Black films in The Pearl Bowser Collection from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Also, look into Pearl Bowser if you haven’t. She’s the reason that incredible films like Ganja & Hess have survived and remained intact.

    This is the last available film (to me) from Kathleen Collins’ body of work, and it is beautiful. It’s a group of mostly Black children discovering themselves and exploring their creativity through…