“Golden Hour,” a film by director and producer DeVon Moore, is a short-documentary that explores the pride of being Black and provides the perspectives of young Black Americans while confronting the stresses and troubles facing their community and finding hope in healing their wounds.
“Golden Hour” is Moore’s fifth film. It was accepted into the 2021 IGen Film Festival. He recalled there were a lot of transitions happening that led to creating this project.
“I think just about everybody knows what happened in the summer 2020, and that’s something that was super traumatic and stressful for our community,” said Moore. “On top of that, you had a pandemic. On top of that, you have the political things going and my friends and I were transitioning from high school to college and moving to Atlanta.”
Moore graduated from Savannah Arts Academy in 2020 and is currently attending Georgia State University in Atlanta as a film & media major with a minor in entrepreneurship. It was while in Atlanta in early 2021 Moore and his friends discussed taking a trip to Tybee Island just for a fun beach day but this gave him a different idea.
“I know a couple of times when on break we would come home to Savannah and we would go to Tybee and the beach,” he said. “One of those times was like my first time intentionally going to see a sunrise ever. It was something like super crazy, not even explainable because it’s a different experience.”
This inspired him with the idea to shoot a film that would explore Black pride and have his friends elaborate on different subjects related to the Black experience during the “golden hour” on the beach.
A quote by Gil Scott-Heron (“The thing that is going to change people is something you can’t capture on film”) stood out to Moore and became one of the themes and taglines of the film since with his film he wanted to capture something that would change people.
“The questions were probably the hardest thing ever because I’ve not done many documentaries,” said Moore. “Also, I was doing group interviews and found that some people were soft spoken and not as bold as other people so I ended up interviewing some people individually because I wanted people to answer freely and honestly.”
Moore and the interviewees spent a good amount of time planning and going through the questions. With a series of questions, he engaged the interviewees, young men and woman, through various different subjects. Subjects pointed at uplifting the community and self-love as Moore expressed he didn’t want “another traumatic film for our community.”
Rap Game Will, a local Savannah rapper and activist, opens up the documentary with a voiceover saying, “We’re a young, up-and-coming rapper. The activists in the community of Savannah, Georgia. This is our story, our culture. We give it to you unapologetically.” He elaborates more before the first question appears on the screen. That question is “What does black pride mean to you?”
Person after person spoke about different things that meant black pride to them ranging from hair styles, loving one’s complexation, loving Black history, and embracing many aspects of their culture and the interviewees didn’t shy away from some hard hitting talking points, like when asked if there ever was a time they were embarrassed to be black and how they overcame that experience.
Cristen Williams answered, “I remember telling my mother that I wanted to have a light skinned child because light skin is seen as beautiful or the standard. My mom kind of looked at me like, Kristen, that’s not okay. That’s not something that you want to implement in your life or to praise or anything because you’re beautiful the way that you are. Your dark skin is beautiful. So, the way that I overcame that is I have to learn how to love myself.”
Another interesting response came to the question “What impact have Black men and women made on you?” Most responded giving thanks and gratitude to a mother or father or sibling and other important Black figures in their lives that have been a positive role model to them but one response also turned insight on certain stereotypes.
“I do think that there are some stereotypes within the black community about black men that aren’t necessarily untrue. I feel like black men, instead of getting upset at the stereotype, they should do something to change them,” said Riche Williams. “... I don’t want to say that impacts me in that way, but I just feel like they should do something to change that so that the stereotype isn’t true.”
The piece closed with another strong narrated message from Rap Game Will.
In part, he said, “Man, what if 40 million black babies knew they came from Kings and Queens? What if they knew it was more to our hopes and dreams? Black pride is about our solidarity and culture is something they can never take from us because we are culture. Black pride.”
For Moore, Black pride mean putting the people around your community around you. “Putting them on that platform to allow them to tell their stories, help each other, heal each other, allow each other to feel and be proud of the nooks and crannies the ups and downs, everything that we go through as a community. I feel like that’s what Black Pride is about,” he said.
“Golden Hour” can be viewed online on Moore’s YouTube page, DeVon’s Films, and for more info, check out his Instagram page @devonthedirector.