24 thoughts on “TBT: The Feast of All Saints (2001)

  1. I just checked and my library actually has a copy of this, so I’ve requested it. I would watch this just for the pretty costumes — I love the Regency gowns in particular. I’d never heard of this and normally avoid Anne Rice like the plague, so thanks for this!

  2. Hear, hear to more movies like this one!

    A major peeve of mine is “All black Americans are a cultural and historical monolith.” I’ve even been attacked for pointing out me and my family don’t fit the approved mold. By other black women who were history buffs.

    As for the film itself, it sucks that black Americans mainly exist in period pieces where slavery or the 1960s are concerned. On the other hand, this explores a time and place not often looked at, and pisses on the idea that lighter skin equals a cushier life. I’ll keep an eye out for this.

    1. Part of the problem is that many Americans look on Africa–especially sub-Saharan Africa–as if it’s a country rather than a continent made up of a variety of nations and cultures. Back in the ’60s, when they taught Geography in the schools, we had to learn all the names and differences among the various countries on every continent.

    2. Agreed! It’s refreshing to watch a frock flick about African Americans that isn’t just “slavery sucks” or “Civil Rights now.” Those are important, but dang, there is more to African American history. This is by no means a perfect film but it tells a unique story, has high production values & the vast majority of the film puts white people in the background, which is revolutionary in itself.

    3. The Shaka Zulu mini series is the only media with Sub-saharan Africans that doesn’t feature them revolving in the Slavery periods or the Civil War. While it did features Europeans (as the real Shaka Zulu lived in the early 19th century), It’s more about the dramatic retelling of Shaka Zulu’s conquers and actually shows Africa isn’t a one unified continent (or country like most people believed).

      And you are right! There’s plenty of interesting Sub-saharan Africans stories to tell other than the usual American slavery we see over and over again.But the sad thing is that many people sticks what they had been told instead of diving into African history themselves.

  3. I love the Regency look of some of the dresses. Does this film become vampirey or supernatural a la Anne Rice, or do we find out in later reviews…? It looks like a complex and difficult story.

    1. No vampire content! The only supernatural bit is a little voodoo but in a realistic, as it might have been practiced way, not bringing actual spirits to life. Rice did a ton of historical research for this novel, & talks about it in a feature on the DVD.

      1. Interesting. I had thought she wrote vampires, and pr0n under the other name, and that was it, although if I recall there were mumbles about Christian-something in later days. Good to know she actually researched and presented things of other value–thanks for the reply.

        1. She wrote this, and another called “Cry to Heaven”, which is about Castratii in 18th century Italy. Both are extremely well researched books on subjects not often mentioned.

  4. This makes me wish that someone would do a series based on Barbara Hambly’s “A Free Man of Color” books.

    1. Oh God thirded (fourthed by now?)! Someone mail Oprah copies of those books! Although she’d probably want to play Livia and I think Angela Basset is the One True Livia.

  5. I’m so happy to see this film getting some love! The story was so interesting (and introduced 16 yr old me to a part of history I was totally oblivious to), and the film was one that made the 1840s actually pretty instead of dour the way most films set in 1840 tend to do.

  6. Yay, my library has the movie and I ordered the book through inter-library loan, so I can watch the movie then read the book! Thank you for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

    Btw, just because I am a word nerd, I am going to point out that twice you have “dragoon ball” instead of “quadroon ball”. Now I shall STFU!

  7. Oooooh it has been a very long time since I stumbled on this on a late night channel by accident, I’m now hoping to track a copy down in the UK :D

  8. Love the commentary on this. ;) By the way, Anna Bella was not technically Madam Elsie’s daughter. She was her ward given to her by Anna Bella’s grandfather, who was from Mississippi, hence Anna Bella’s Mississippi accent.

    Also, Dolly Rose’s purple dress was also worn by Wendy Kilbourne who played Constance Flynn Hazard in the North & South miniseries. She wore it in Book II. I also noticed a dress that one of the ladies at Dolly’s bordello wears that is sheer blue & white and off the shoulder is also worn by an extra from North & South as well.

  9. And you are right! There’s plenty of interesting Sub-saharan Africans stories to tell other than the usual American slavery we see over and over again.

    Why does everyone seemed to have this bugaboo about viewing movies and television about U.S. slavery?

  10. HOW does Bianca Lawson (Anna Bella) look exactly the same in 2001 and 2020??? This woman has been playing teenagers for 20 years! I’m happy to see her in a period film too!

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