Well as the sad news sets in about the death of death of legendary actress/activist Ruby Dee, Playbill reports a documentary about the star and her late husband Ossie Davis will premiere at Film Life’s 18th annual American Black Film Festival in Manhattan.
On Sunday, June 22, Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee, a documentary about the beloved artists-activists Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee by their grandson – director Muta’Ali – will have its world premiere at the American Black Film Festival.
At Film Life’s 18th Annual American Black Film Festival, the film—part tribute, part history lesson and part coming-of-age story—give viewers an intimate look into the remarkable lives of the couple many consider the all-time king and queen of Black Hollywood: Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.
Stunned by the death of his grandfather, Muta’Ali moves to New York to be able to spend more time with his grandmother and to get answers to some of his burning questions. The film, produced by Jevon “NJ” Frank, follows Muta’Ali as he delves into chapters of their lives that span the 20th and 21st centuries, posing probing questions to his grandmother as well as to celebrity friends, costars and fellow activists of the star couple in his search for his own life’s path. Alan Alda, Angela Bassett, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Hill Harper, Samuel Jackson, Spike Lee, Sonia Sanchez and Dr. Cornel West are among the notables who offer insights into and memories of the couple’s love, art and activism. Davis weighs in, too, speaking to his grandson through never-before-seen footage and memorabilia from the Davis-Dee family archives.
Along the way, Muta’Ali lays bare the rich history of Davis and Dee, who played pivotal roles in the civil rights struggle through their social activism, while maintaining illustrious careers in the arts and a full family life.
A few of the notable people appearing in the film include Harry Belafonte, Sonia Sanchez, Danny Glover, Angela Bassett, Hill Harper, Spike Lee, Samuel Jackson, Alan Alda and Dr. Cornel West. They offer insight on the couple’s love, art and activism– a timely ode to Dee in the wake of her passing. Never-before-seen footage of Davis talking with Muta’Ali and family memorabilia is also included.
Life’s Essential with Ruby Dee will be screened beginning June 21 at the SVA Theatre at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for $12 at American Black Film Festival.