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Emma Mae

1h 40m Drama, Action 1976

A staggeringly entertaining gem from from the great Jamaa Fanaka (Welcome Home Brother Charles, Penitentiary).

From the great Jamaa Fanaka, director of crowd favorites Penitentiary and Welcome Home Brother Charles, comes this under-heralded blaxploitation classic. Emma Mae (Jerri Hayes), straight off the farm, comes to live with her aunt and uncle in the projects of South Central LA when her mother dies.

At first, Emma Mae, with her southern drawl, unfashionable Sunday clothes, and country ways, seems totally unequipped to deal with the big bad ghetto, but pretty soon she’s at the top of the heap, mainly due to the fact that she can kick more ass than a donkey. It’s not typical blaxploitation, so if you’re looking for an excuse to dress like a pimp and drink Colt 45, you may be disappointed.

But if you love black culture of the ‘70s, get ready to have a new favorite movie. Fanaka really takes the time to create fleshed-out, memorable characters—and he lets them talk, hilariously and engagingly– so that, when the time comes for Emma Mae to kick ass you’ll find yourself standing up in your seat cheering her on. (Lars Nilsen)


Jamaa Fanaka


Jamaa Fanaka




United States



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