Originally released in 1978, A DREAM IS WHAT YOU WAKE UP FROM explores the role of Black families in American society. The everyday lives of three Black families with different approaches to their struggle for survival in the United States are represented through a mix of fiction and documentary scenes, a docudrama style inspired by the work of Cuban filmmaker Sara Gómez.
Filmmakers Larry Bullard and Carolyn Y. Johnson relied on a mix of documentary and drama to record families engaged in their day to day activities at home, at work and in school. This material was juxtaposed with a sound track on which family members discuss their individual thoughts, values and aspirations. With this hybrid film style, the filmmakers were able to reveal and examine the gaps between everyday reality and the way in which it is perceived by each individual.
One of the first Third World Newsreel productions, A DREAM IS WHAT YOU WAKE UP FROM was recently part of two award-winning film programs: Film Society of Lincoln Center "Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968 - 1986" and BAMcinematek "One Way or Another: Black Women's Cinema 1970-1991.”
Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, Film Society of Lincoln Center, 2015; Billy Wilder Theater, UCLA, 2015; One Way or Another: Black Women's Cinema, BAMcinematek, 2016; Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival, Brooklyn, 2018