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JAY-Z ft. Gloria Carter 'Smile' Directed by Miles Jay

Smuggler director Miles Jay presents a moving short film for JAY-Z’s latest “Smile”. Written by Miles, the video is a visually magnificent piece inspired by the emotional experiences of Gloria Carter, JAY-Z’s mother.

Set in Brooklyn in the 1970s, the video explores Gloria living in the shadows as she is forced to hide her homosexuality. We see her flourishing relationship with her female neighbour, which develops into a budding sexuality that can never be realised. Backgrounded by the social and economic pressures of the time, the two women sacrifice living their truths for the betterment of their children.

A young Shawn Carter witnesses the vulnerability in his mother for the first time and through her pain learns to smile through adversity. JAY-Z’s lyricism concludes with a poem written by Gloria in which she unveils her homosexuality for the first time, revealing the insight of her experience.

Smile is a special and personal film, rendered compassionately by Miles Jay and expertly photographed by Stuart Winecoff.

Kim Jarrett