|Recently, Sisterspace and Books held a series of screenings for the upcoming HBO film "Disappearing Act." This is just one of the many creative activities that co-owners Cassandra Burton and Faye Williams hope will attract more patrons to their U Street venue. And community support is essential for the survival of bookstores like Sisterspace.
Today the literary landscape is overrun with dot.coms and megachains that are forcing independently owned bookstores out of business. Still Sisterspace remains the only bookstore owned by black women that specializes in works by and about black women. It is also a haven for those who regularly attend the many workshops, readings, book discussions, support groups and other activities that are its staple.
But here we are gathered this Saturday evening, some 50-plus women and a few men, to screen the romantic drama staring Wesley Snipes and Sanaa Lathan ("Love and Basketball," "Catfish In Blackbean Sauce". "Disappearing Acts", is based on the Terry McMillan book of the same name; the screenplay was written by Lisa Jones and after her directorial debut ("Love and Basketball") Gina Prince-Bythewood returns.
Franklin (Snipes) is a struggling construction worker with dreams of owning his own company renovation brownstones in New York City. Zora (Lathan) is an independent young woman, who dreams of recording her own music, but in the meantime she teaches music and struggles to get her own career off the ground. In retrospect, the last thing either of these two need is the pressure of a relationship. But when lust overrides good sense they get entangled in an emotional drama that spirals out of control.
The vigorous discussion after the film made it very clear that the film had touched a nerve and highlighted some of the ways in which black women and men mistreat each other. It also affirmed the fact that we cannot expect to find our self-worth in another person. While we can be supportive of each other there are limits or we must set boundaries, because each must take that very personal journey and do the work required to become a whole person.
"Disappearing Acts" premieres on HBO, Saturday, Dec 9 at 9 p.m. EST with encore performances throughout the month. Sisterspace and Books will host writer/executive producer Terry McMillan for an afternoon talk and book signing at the Lincoln Theatre on Jan. 18 at 12 noon. For more information about this and other activities visit their website at www.sisterspace.com or call 202-332-3433.