Black Love Matters and Other Lessons from In The Morning Film

UPDATE: As of April 21st, 2017, In The Morning is available on Demand! You can watch on Amazon, Comcast XFINITY , Vimeo on Demand and VHX! Check your listings and share with ALL your friends.


Black Love Matters says Nefertite Nguvu, filmmaker, fashionista, dope woman and creator of the brilliant rare gem {film}, In the Morning. “Our need/capacity to love and be loved is ever present. Seeing ourselves in our vulnerable and intimate spaces is life-affirming and matters tremendously.”

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The morning after experiencing In the Morning at the New Voices in Black Cinema festival at BAM, I was overcome with gratitude. Stay with me a moment and you’ll see why.

ITM crew

I am a flawed {Black} introverted, emotional, evolving woman and filmmaker who lives for human connection. There have been moments in my 31 years of life where I have been ashamed or tried to hide parts of myself (and still do!) because I felt they were too much to handle, too complex to understand, or too loud to be heard. I’ve hidden behind shyness and being aloof and quiet, acting unbothered, laughing off pain, ignoring the ills of weak egos and passive aggressive behaviors and leaving my pen and pad untouched. I have given away parts of myself (time included) willingly to people and situations that never put an ounce of effort into me (nor gave a care about me). I still mourn the lost of failed friendships and romantic relationships; and I still struggle with my own identity and worth, as a woman and a creative. No matter how many positive words I share with folks in my day-to-day {real} life or via social media, I’m a {beautiful} f*cked up mess who self-deprecates, sometimes judges folks, still fails at selfless love and maintaining friendships, and has a hard time existing past my own ish.

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But I am human. And as Gabrielle Union’s character pointed out in Mara Brock Akil’s Being Mary Jane: I {we} deserve to be loved {fully} no matter how ugly our truth is. A truth (or 2 or 100) we often try to hide.

In the Morning allowed me to embrace myself (mess and all) by showing just how we really are to ourselves and each other in one of the rawest ways I’ve experienced on screen. The bonus is it’s an all brown cast being naked, in the soulful sense. Vulnerability is the purest beauty along with love and Nefertite captured us doing just that, beautifully, flawlessly and poetically.

According to Nefertite, In The Morning charts the emotional anatomy of several relationships over the course of one day, most gathering to bid farewell to one of their own moving abroad while debating the compromise and loss of their youthful ideals about marriage, fidelity, life and love. It’s a mood piece that weaves together woman lead stories about personal growth and the power of choice and action through love and transition.

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What stood out most is her portrayal of women that whispered to me: it’s okay to love and fail and cry and hurt and laugh and long and be everything and not be anything at all. I am forever grateful for Nefertite’s successful efforts to capture the so many layers of us: our love, our flaws, our self-discovery, our vulnerability, and how we connect to ourselves, and each other. She normalized the complexities of life, self-discovery, and relationships through the lens of black women. As an evolving screenwriter, she also gave me hope and pushed me to refocus on my authentic voice.

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As she states on the film’s Kickstarter page:

This Kickstarter campaign is about more than IN THE MORNING, it’s about leveling the playing field, creating access, demystifying the process; it’s about empowering myself and other filmmakers like me, by demonstrating what is possible with community. We are building up grassroots support in preparation for a hybrid, non-traditional, theatrical and VOD (Video on Demand) distribution model. More than anything else, I want us to see ourselves. I hope you’ll join me and help bring IN THE MORNING to the masses.


{This post is dedicated to plugging the incredible work of my dear friend and filmmaker, Nefertite Nguvu. Post is written by Danielle Mooney.}

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