Dana Dennard, an adjunct psychology professor, gathered with members of the Student Alliance for Cultural Development for the release of his new movie, “21 Doors of Legba’s Dream,” on Friday in Perry-Paige Auditorium.
The movie features original poems by Dennard and poet Black Girl.
“(The movie) is about the path to self-discovery and psychological maturity,” said 21-year-old SACD President Amir Shabazz.
The junior philosophy student from Fort Myers said the film focuses on the struggles black college students go through to better themselves.
He said the movie is about reaching enlightenment.The movie deals with issues such as early pregnancy, the loss of a parent and drugs.
Each character in 21 Doors has a dream that is symbolic to his or her life.
With the help of Legba, the Haitian voodoo god of opportunities and gatekeeper to the spirit world, each character is able to transform his or her life.
At the beginning of the movie, Oshun, one of the main characters, is seen at a party with a group of her friends. She, along with everyone else, is smoking and drinking, and after a while, Oshun falls asleep and begins to dream. In the dream, a man comes to Oshun and tells her it is up to her to choose life or death.
Oshun later realizes the dream was a representation of a change that is needed in her life.
She decides to stop smoking and become more focused on school.
“Life is more than a paycheck,” Shabazz said, explaining how students get distracted by life’s superficialities.
“We get so caught up with paying our rent, maintaining relationships and purchasing textbooks that we do not obtain our higher purpose in life.”
Shabazz said Dennard’s movie is an outline meant to show students how to reach their goals.
Dennard was interested in how black people, who knew nothing about African mythology or methodology, could dream about the topic.
After Thanksgiving about two years ago, his family wanted to watch the Tyler Perry plays.
After watching, Dennard took his cue from Perry, witnessing how much his family enjoyed the plays.
“I thought it was very intelligent how Tyler Perry was able to put his ideas on video,” Dennard said. “I thought it would be a good idea for me to put my messages into film.”
Dennard’s film inspired some audience members to think seriously about where they are in their maturation process. “The movie made me realize that I need to be more disciplined and made me want to pay closer attention to my dreams,” said Sabreenah Nicolas, 21, a senior psychology student from Fort Lauderdale.
Brittney Robinson, 20, a second-year business administration student from Del Ray Beach was also intrigued by Dennard’s movie.
“I never knew that you could learn so much from your dreams,” she said, calling the movie inspirational. “Dreams are truly a reality.”
This is Dennard’s first movie, and he is in the process of working on a second.
He said he is motivated by the positive feedback from his film. If anyone with any type of technical skills is interested in helping Dennard with his second film, he invites them to contact him at Amen-Ra’s Bookshop.