a love song for latasha

A Love Song For Latasha is a dreamlike archive in conversation with the past and the present to reimagine a more nuanced narrative of Latasha Harlins by excavating intimate and poetic memories shared by her cousin and best friend.







Sheffield Doc Fest. UK - Sat June 8. 5:45pm - Oatly Showroom Cinema 2
AFI DOCS - Shorts Program 2. June 20. 3:30 pm - AFI Silver Theater 2 + June 21. 12:00 pm - Landmark E Street 6

Tribeca Film Festival - April 28. 2:30 pm - Regal Cinemas Battery Park. April 30. 5:45 pm - Regal Cinemas Battery Park. May 3. 10:00pm- Village East Cinema. May 4. 3:00pm - Village East Cinema

AfroPunk “New Doc Reminds Us That Latasha Harlins’ Life Mattered”
AFI DOCS Interview
Shadow and Act
EssenceTribeca Film Festival: 20 Titles That We Can't Wait To See”



For Shinese, Ty, and Tasha

Latasha Harlins was 15-years-old when she was wrongfully killed in 1991 by Soon Ja Du at Empire Liquor in South Central Los Angeles. Du was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter but received no jail time. The death of Latasha, occurring 13 days after the brutal beating of Rodney King, was a leading catalyst for the 1992 L.A. Riots. But, for the past 28 years her life has only been examined within the context of her death.

This short hybrid documentary carefully excavates, conjures, and archives memories shared by Latasha’s best friend Ty and cousin Shinese to document a more nuanced narrative of Latasha Harlins beyond her trauma. Ty and Shinese were were both 15-years-old when Latasha was killed and they’ve carried these stories deep within them, keeping them safe and sacred. By using experimental methods to reimagine what is no longer tangible from their childhood, oral history and memory converge together in a dream-like conversation to become a visceral embodiment of the past, present, and future intersecting.

A Love Song For Latasha fills in gaps and speaks truth to Latasha’s life and nuance. Through the reclaiming and re-envisioning of these archives, we are challenging a system that has historically prevented black women and girls from having agency over their narrative and public image. By activating this space, we are interrogating new ways to imagine and engage with black history that has been erased and left void. These memories serve as evidence of not only the existence, but also the resistance of black women and girls. As Latasha’s cousin Shinese states, most people only know Latasha as “a young black girl who was worth a dollar and 79 cents. They don't know who she was as an individual.”

A Love Song For Latasha is a spiritual and physical conversation of dreams, memories, and legacy. Through an experimental and dream-like aesthetic, time is non-linear and reality is intentionally distorted throughout the film to reflect how trauma is processed amidst the necessity to cultivate a personal relationship with dreaming and collective memory. This hybrid documentary tells the story of Latasha’s fullness, providing a more intimate narrative than ever before.  

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director.cinematographer.editor.producer: Sophia Nahli Allison
creative producer: Janice Duncan
producer: Fam Udeorji
executive producers: Aubrey Aden-Buie + Elisa Gambino
animation: Adebukola Bodunrin
composer: Minna Choi
music supervisors: Fam Udeorji + Jen Malone
sound mixing: Riley Mackin
color: Kya Lou

Featuring Music by: Kadjha Bonet and Noname


Tybie O’Bard, Shinese Harlins, Zoe Flint, Nnenna Brown,
Juanita Jennings, Marley Cortez, Londyn Sharp and Raigan Alex.

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Generous Support + Funding Provided by Glassbreaker Films. Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs

Generous Support + Funding Provided by Glassbreaker Films. Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs


Thank You

Shinese Harlins and Tybie O’Bard. Glassbreaker Films. Kamal Sinclair, Paisley Smith, Ruthie Doyle, The Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs. Y Machelle and Kevin Flint. Tanya and Tati Smith-Johnson. Wilma Dickens and Ronyae Brandon. Richie Cortez and Lil’Rich. Lena Hightower, Kyndall Dowell, Mikayla Roberts, Jazzena Monaie. Yvette, Antwon, Hannah and Faith Martin, Greater Bethel Cathedral. J’Shawn Lyons, Jacqueline Malava, Joe Gardina. Kadhja Bonet and Noname. Anita Badejo and Pop Up Magazine. Tranee Peevy, Rachel Summers, Oriana Koren. Dorothy Pirtle, Bethany Mollenkof, Ligaiya Romero. Aunt Lolo, Aunt Ruth, Sybil Desta Allison. Eddie Jaros, David Bryant, Jahmal Holland, Trevy McDonald. Andrea Yarbrough, Marisa Ramirez and College Track Watts/Animo College Prep. Damion Nunley and Leuzinger High School students. Adama Booker and Bret Harte Middle School, Algin Sutton Recreation Center. South Central Los Angeles and all the community members we met.



Want to learn more about the film? Host a screening? We’d love to hear from you.

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