It’s been eight years since Gabourey Sidibe left an unforgettable first impression in her debut film, Precious. Since, the Academy-Award nominated actress joined Fox hit Empire while simultaneously working on her directorial debut.

Sidibe’s new film, The Tale of Four, brings us into the lives of four Black women: Saffronia (Megan Kimberly Smith), Sarah (Ledisi Young), Peaches (Aisha Hinds), and Sweet Thing (Dana Gourrier). If these four characters sound familiar, it’s because they were drawn from the 1966 Nina Simone classic, “Four Women.”

The 34-year-old actress uses Simone’s timeless narrative to addresses the harrowing realities of the mothers, daughters, and undaunted revolutionaries fighting back against police brutality and the specter of mass incarceration today. In an interview with Refinery 29, the filmmaker shares exactly why she chose to speak on these issues.

“As I do with most things I’m afraid of, I talk about them, make them audible, hoping that addressing the fear will alleviate it. That’s what the film is about: addressing it, saying it out loud, and hoping that through sharing my fear and my outrage that it will cause more outrage and more fear.”

You can watch the short film below.

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