Restoration courtesy the Gordon Trust.
“It is as if Emma Mae can tap directly into a wellspring of Black women’s latent powers in order to protect and serve her own.” — Jacqueline Stewart, UCLA Film & TV Archive
EMMA MAE, Jamaa Fanaka’s (PENITENTIARY) second feature, tells the story of a naive young woman who moves from the Deep South to Watts. Initially finding herself at odds with her surroundings, Emma eventually gains acceptance from a local drug addict and dealer. But when he's arrested and jailed, she plans a daring bank robbery to bail him out. Featuring a cast of mostly non-professionals and shot entirely on location in Watts, this uniquely subversive action film is an insider's view of Black neighborhoods in Los Angeles.