A Filmmaker With Golden Touch: Rafiq Jordan Nabali Flies In The Face
Of The American Entertainment Industry With His New Film.
Written by ~ Juanisha Reece
Is the Black Church Dead? It became the new popular question among Americans as 'Let The Church Say' was released on February 17, 2023, to mark International Black History Month. The director and writer of the film, an Adventist, Rafiq Jordan Nabali, has been praised for his unapologetic approach to challenge the long-withstanding liberal paradigm of the entertainment industry. With an aim to resurrect the religious allegiance of the media and to narrate the untold successful history of the Black Church as a force against social evils, Nabali's film is deemed revolutionary by critics.
Expanding a thesis project into a non-fictional motion picture, Nabali, ever since childhood, was amused by the power and purpose of storytelling; he quickly identified the salient feature of a compelling film, stories that resonate with the majority of those in need of a voice. As a student studying filmmaking at Savannah College of Art & Design, he was keen to learn about the relevance of the Black Church in the lives of people today, and that is how the idea of the project was born. The need to revisit society's long-forgotten core values, which it extensively relied upon, drawing possible connections between the
rising social evils to the loss of the church's influence in society, Nabali has managed to produce a masterpiece film documentary that takes viewers along on the quest of this emerging African American as he deconstructs the reality of America today. Watch the trailer at Let The Church Say Trailer 1 on Vimeo.
'The modern-day social justice and the integral role of the church in it is the question that needs to be asked more often than not; we have been bearing the consequences of limiting the church's role, and the rising voices are demanding it to be revisited, Nabali spoke during one of the candid interviews he did with the producer of his directorial, Nancy B. Howard, a marketing and communications professional in Atlanta, Georgia. The sheer dedication of the 'Let The Church Say' cast and crew made it possible through the tough times of the Covid-19 pandemic. Determined to spread the gospel through filmmaking, Nabali's latest has provided audiences with a fresh breath of air. The trailblazer of conservative representation of the American entertainment industry has promised the viewers to anticipate many more informative, insightful and insightful historical docudramas coming their way.
Nabali's survival in a secular-dominated industry has been incredible. While he credits the good people in his company, there is no denying that he had a fair share of obstacles come his way; he was challenged by the big names who called his efforts redundant and told him to quit, citing his ideas and concepts had no place in the era of commercially driven films. A time when not only was the production of a non-commercial project becoming difficult, the appeal to draw masses was also a tedious task, but Nabali was fully aware of what he was getting himself into. 'I knew the pros and cons of coming up with this much-needed story; it is more of a reinforcement for me. My message through this film is for those searching for answers but need to figure out where to search for them; you may or may not like the place I bring this from, but it's based on pure facts. Watch it and decide for yourself before you devise an opinion on what I request from the audiences —spare seventy minutes for this one. I am the person who wholeheartedly welcomes constructive critique, replied Nabali while catering to the question of the relevant audience for the film.
Nabali's endeavor to explore the possible role of the Black Church through its commendable contribution in the past has been welcomed by many, as the film has been featured in Pan African Film Festival PAFF in Los Angeles. Centered towards the relevance of the gospel, Nabali is among the chosen ones, the Golden Touch to guide to the right path through the art of filmmaking,