“Have you ever fallen into your sleep
hoping you would not wake?
Opening your eyes
to the morning sun
A mourning son
Light casting itself on your loss…”
–excerpt from “Laying Flowers, Setting Fires”
To call Amir Sulaiman a poet or an artist is an understatement. In fact, he describes himself as an alchemist, a scientist who seeks to cure disease and prolong life by transforming base metals into gold. This transformative power is evident in Sulaiman’s new short film, “Laying Flowers, Setting Fires,” a visual and vocal meditation on Black life, death, love, and survival. With stark, evocative images, soul-stirring vocals from Drea D’Nur, and a haunting musical composition, “Laying Flowers, Setting Fires” is a praise poem to Black women as sources of life, nurturing, and love, a plea for justice for the lives of Black men and women, a testimony of fear and tragedy, and a litany for survival. “Laying Flowers, Setting Fires” bears witness to the fullness of Black life, our terrors and our joys, our mournings and our victories. We invite you to watch and be transformed by Amir Sulaiman’s lyrical power.
Director: Amir Sulaiman
Cinematographer: Michael “Cambio” Fernandez
Ayanna Gellineau | December 14, 2020
This was pore raising, quiet rage. Gave voice to some of my internal struggles as a black woman with black children “living” in the States.