DocFest: Black Barbie: A Documentary

  • A lot of black barbie dolls standing in a circle in red ball dresses

Love her or hate her, almost everyone has a Barbie story. Even if they don’t have a story, there’s a story as to why they don’t have a story. In this film, we tell the story behind the first Black Barbie, because yes, she has a story too. It started with the filmmaker’s 83-year old aunt, Beulah Mae Mitchell and a seemingly simple question, “Why not make a Barbie that looks like me?”

A necessary and timely counter-punch to Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie film, Black Barbie delves into the transformative arrival of Mattel’s groundbreaking Black Barbie. By examining the ways that the absence of black images in the “social mirror” left Black girls with few opportunities for self-reflection — and dissecting the complex cross section of merchandise and representation — Black Barbie celebrates the Black women who refuse to be invisible and their struggle to elevate their own voices and stories.

Presented as part of San Francisco Documentary Festival 2023.

1h 40m
Lagueria Davis
United States
First Showing
June 8, 2023