For the fifth film made for The Women’s Tales, a short film series sponsored by Miu Miu, Miuccia Prada chose filmmaker Ava DuVernay, best known as the first black woman to win Best Director at last year’s Sundance for Middle of Nowhere, to direct The Door, a story driven by female friendships.
In the film, a steely, frigid blue building structure frames the opening shot, guiding viewers’ attention to a female figure in perfect profile, wearing a sweeping red dress as she gazes out from a glass balcony.
As the protagonist, played by a serene Gabrielle Union, receives visits from friends, they are introduced standing at the literal door referenced in the title. They seem to be dropping by to cheer her up from an apparent divorce, and each companion helps her pick an ensemble to wear out—first to dinner, then to a nightclub, then to a concert, where singer-songwriter Goapele steals the scene with her vocals. The familiar gesture of choosing outfits makes the characters’ interactions around the clothes natural and believable as a genuine part of each relationship. In the closing scene, we see Union slip off a ring from her left hand, and slip on a pair of leather gloves, before walking out the door. Says DuVernay, “Eventually, we witness our heroine ready to walk through the door on her own. The door in the film represents a pathway to who we are.”
The Door premieres today on Miu Miu’s website and also features Alfre Woodard, Emayatzy Corinealdi, and Adepero Oduye.