elizabeth m. webb

Selected film stills, For Paradise  (2016)

HD video and 16mm film transferred to HD video, Total Running Time 25 min.



My great-grandmother was a black woman known for her exquisite beauty, yet there are no recorded images of her. Her name was Paradise.


At the age of 18, I discovered a family history that had gone unspoken for a generation: my father’s father, whom I never met, was African-American—my father had been passing as white. He had also decided to raise our family as such, giving us no knowledge of our black ancestry. For Paradise is a hybrid documentary that traces the construction of racial identities within a family (my own) where members operate on both sides of the “color line.” Allowing the story of my great-grandmother Paradise to guide me through complicated family histories of migration and racial passing, I navigate the spaces where power can be found in absence and loss.



World Premiere: Vienna International Film Festival (Viennale) 2016


For screening inquiries, contact elizabethmwebb [at] gmail [dot] com