Zombie Dreams ~ Halloween Screams
By TINA WILSON
Individually the girls were enchanting, some more than others, but as a group they were breathtaking and eerie. Their silhouettes varied in size and shape much like a Savage x Fenty fashion show, their skin endless shades of black.
I just completed the 57th New York Film Festival, an annual two-week period where I submerge myself in films, sometimes two films per day. There were many standouts, two of them had pivotal scenes of young women in their nightwear.
Not usually drawn to zombie movies I found myself with tickets to two of them this year. One being Zombie Child, about the boarding school life in France of a Haitian born teenage girl descended from what some say was a “real life” documented zombie. Some scenes were set in the school laboratory after midnight where Fanny and the other members of a secret society would gather to speak of voodoo, rebirth and obsession… in their pajamas. When asked in a scene from the movie who her favorite singer was, Fanny replied “Rihanna”. Remember back when Rihanna dressed as a zombie for Halloween?
I will revisit the beauty of Atlantics: A Ghost Story often. The movie was a Cannes favorite and most likely the Senegalese submission for the Oscars next year. The film set in Dakar opens with a group of construction workers, toiling away in the hot sun on the site of a gargantuan tower. The beautiful, muscular and glistening young men have not been paid for three months and have lost hope of ever receiving their wages. They embark on a desperate midnight journey in a small boat to cross the Atlantic headed for Spain in search of work. They leave behind mothers, sisters and girlfriends. They will never return; not in human form.
The greatest loss is felt by the stunning Ada, whose secret boyfriend Souleiman leaves without a goodbye.
He eventually returns by inhabiting the body and soul of a police lieutenant. The other young men return for closure and vengeance into the bodies of their beloved girlfriends, the transformation begins with a deep sleep, tortuous fever and culminates in a zombie like state complete with eyes that are missing all traces of an iris and pupil.
The most unsettling scene, one which will haunt me for some time is when the victims seek out their swindler. The possessed girls sit upright in their beds at the same time and slip out into the quiet dead of night. They come together in the streets and begin slowly walking in unison, bare foot and clad in their nightwear.
The most “dressed up” were wearing silky looking pieces that resembled Christine’s Lace Trimmed Chemise or Ginia’s Pleated Silk Chemise. There was a shortie that reminded me of Savage x Fenty’s Pleated Babydoll.
They journey for miles from their meager yet comforting homes to the opulent and cold house of the developer who cheated them. The scene of them lounging all around his mansion waiting for his return is beyond disturbing. Some of their more casual looks that resembled a classic Eileen West short gown, Anthropologie’s Wake Up Pants and Natori’s Key Tank PJ made them seem right at home. Imagine what happens next if you can or better yet watch the film if you dare on Netflix.
The role nightwear had in both movies was notable inspiration for a Halloween costume that you probably already own. Dress in your favorite pajamas or sexy satin slip, invest in some zombie contact lenses, mess up your hair, walk like you’re possessed and go out and scare the hell out of everyone in your path. Oh and grab a few girlfriends in solidarity, it is powerful and strikes fear in the “right” people.
Happy Halloween, be safe, be creepy and be well…and remember we all want the same things… to live, love, work hard and thrive, immigrants and citizens alike.
Peace and Resistance! Tick Tock