Coffee Rhetoric: Documentary Films: Nana Agyapong's 'L.A. Woman Rising'

July 07, 2013

Documentary Films: Nana Agyapong's 'L.A. Woman Rising'

L.A. Woman Rising, an arthouse/experimental documentary by Los Angeles-based artist and director  Nana Agyapong (known professionally as Nana Ghana), and with original poems and narration by actor James Franco, follows 50 diverse women waking for the day in ‘The City of Angels’ and their A.M. rituals. They are not only waking up to start the day, they are rising to give life to their respective dreams. 


Through successful crowdfunding on  Kickstarter and other fundraising efforts, 
Nana Agyapong was able to complete her project: a simple idea that was inspired by The Doors’ song L.A. Woman. But Agyapong’s film seems to represent something that extends far beyond what The Doors envisioned as the quintessential Los Angelista.  




In a 2012 Q&A with style and lifestyle blog Refinery 29, Agyapong said, 
Nana 'Ghana' Agyapong
My inspiration for L.A. Woman Rising came from my experience living in L.A. and watching the way people move and function in our society. During my time in L.A., I've observed many different types of women and their daily lives. The title started with the song 'L.A. Woman' by Jim Morrison of the Doors. That song created an image of the individual woman, an object of beauty and desire. But, I believe that L.A. women represent so much more than that. I have studied 50 of them—a homeless woman, a lawyer, a porn star, a doctor, a maid, an actress, a painter, and many more. 
Whether naked or bejeweled, thin or fat, famous or poor, L.A. women all share the same feelings in the morning, and the film portrays real life in the City of Angels. L.A. is the perfect oasis for the utopian dream, and everyone is here for different personal reasons. The only problem is that no one really knows what each day will bring. This uncertainty and this hope is what L.A. women all share.
A fixture on California’s arts, culture, and fashion scene, the Ghanaian-born, New Jersey raised mixed media artist, director, and model has worked with actor James Franco and continues to dabble in other projects.

There's still no word on when L.A. Girl Rising will be screened, but it seems like a really interesting film project that be great to see in its entirety particularly if you're interested in or from Los Angeles. It’s not often that we see myriad women of different backgrounds during the most guarded time of the day, pre-makeup, after a long night out, before caffeine has been consumed, or just before they've stepped outside to tackle the world and navigate their respective lives.