Responding to racism and historical erasure, the African diaspora has developed a multitude of tactics for mitigating the oppressive ideological conditions, such as advocating self-sufficiency and race pride. Among them, the Hebrew Israelite church identifies the African diaspora as the lineal descendants of ancient Israelites, because they believe that the enslavement of ancient Israelites in Egypt prophesies the Atlantic slave trade. Through the daily activity of the churchgoers in a Hebrew Israelite church, The Israel of God, in the south side of Chicago, the film “Chosen People” provides a poignant and subtle mediation on relations among history, memory and identity.
Qihui Wu is from Guangzhou, China. She recently graduated from Northwestern Documentary M.F.A. Program, specializing in Communication and Cinema studies. With an ethnographic approach, her works, “Chosen People” (2016), “Ma & Bati” (2015), and “Retired Workers” (2014), explore the complex relationships between humans, their physical boundaries and identity, as well as history and memory.