Women and Hollywood: Why did you start the movie off with the Audre Lorde quote?
Dee Rees: I started the movie when I was going through my own coming out process. I was reading a lot of Audre Lorde and listening to Nina Simone, but Audre Lorde was who I latched on to and followed her life journey. I could really relate to her experiences about fitting in and always being the “other.” The quote: “Wherever the bird with no feet flew, she found trees with no limbs.” For me, that means she has no place and there is no place for her and that’s how I interpret it. And that’s why I wanted to start the film with that because that’s what Alike’s journey is about. She feels like she doesn’t have a place.
WaH: You started the film as a short and then it progressed to a feature. Did you know you always wanted it to be a feature film?
DR: We actually wrote it as a feature, first. Then we took an excerpt and shot it as a short.