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This horror rejects Black trauma and makes fetishists the victims instead

It's new Shorties time! This installment is Black Widow, a disturbing tale of a ring of femme fatales

26 Mar 2021

Shorties spotlights films with bold ideas and fresh perspectives via an exciting new generation of POC filmmakers. 

The supply of what black women have to offer can never quite satiate the demand. Often it seems like everybody finds a way to commercialise black womanhood except black women. Our lips, our curves, our hair, the cadence of our speech, the sauce – everyone wants a slice. 

Black Widow flips the script on the fetishisation of black women and slices up the hungry fans instead. The short film introduces us to a day in the life of three young women who run a very lucrative business profiting from the fetishists. They receive a booking from their latest client and the preparation begins.

It’s an entry into the black horror genre that doesn’t centre black trauma which is a real rarity. Judging by the reactions to Lena Waithe’s new project Them, black people are tired living through hell and then turning on TV and watching said hell again over and over in repetitive formats. There are infinite possibilities of black people, and women occupying the scary movie or TV arena. As well as communicating the horror of our own existence, we can also afford horror characters the agency we crave. If we’re in the driving seat then do we necessarily have to still be the victim? Aside from raising these important questions, Black Widow also features gal-dem contributor and social media queen Chanté Joseph when she was bald, which is my own personal highlight. 

Filmmaker Rhondda Rhiannon wanted to make the sort of film she would like to see. “I felt drawn to horror because we are seriously lacking horror films where black people don’t die first,” she explains to gal-dem. Crucially it’s the fetishists who find themselves targeted, lured in, and sold for parts.

Prepare to be disturbed, and watch Black Widow below: