“The Oscar of the best film for Moonlight has freed me,” smiles Barry Jenkins. Surprising winner of the edition 2017 in the face of The Land, the director was in a hurry once the emotions of the past : go back to the book and behind the camera. It was done in a record time. Six months after, he was filming If Beale Street could talk . Based on the novel of James Baldwin, this new film is coming tomorrow on our screens, preceded by these three Oscar nominations. Visiting Paris in mid-January, the director told us about the genesis of this film committed.

If Beale Street could talk, the trailer

The adaptation of the writer’s african-american, a continuation of the elegiac melodrama Moonlight . Barry Jenkins has written the screenplays of two feature films at the same great stay in Europe in the summer of 2013, without even waiting to obtain the rights. “As soon as I put the book, I knew that I wanted to adapt it. This certainty I was even scared because the power of the words of James Baldwin resides in his inner voice, and on the screen, it was necessary to find a new balance,” admits the filmmaker. It maintains intact the emotion that captures the reading of “the story of love that tackles real issues and still relevant: the american justice, mass incarceration, the trauma that’s faced every day by the Afro-Americans in the United States”. And stressed: “The stigma of the prison are not confined to those who are behind bars. All their loved ones going through this ordeal.”

Regina King, gorgeous mother

As the Moonlight, If Beale Street could talk evokes the awakening to the love and feelings. Childhood friends since forever, Tish (Kiki Layne, of which this is the first film), and Fonny (Stephan James, Homecoming ) yield in the Harlem of the 70’s to their mutual attraction. But even more than parents disapproving and snobbish of Fonny or an unexpected pregnancy, what are the prejudices of racism that will separate the lovebirds. Wrongly accused of rape, Fonny may not escape the cycle of the miscarriage of justice.

Despite the harshness of the comment, Barry Jenkins book, a work of a purity and a tenderness, staggering, to the tune of his lovers. “I wanted to go against a certain form of imagery in which black men are incapable of affection,” explains Barry Jenkins. To camp his two twin souls, he has brought together actors with chemistry that is undeniable. “Tish was to speak at once with a child’s voice and that of a woman, Kiki had this duality. For Fonny, it had to be someone like Stephan, full of life, animated by a light little by little diminished by the circumstances”. Because If Beale Street could talk also remember that the protection that the family and solidarity can offer in the face of injustice and the harshness of everyday life.

To surround the duo, Barry Jenkins has appealed to Regina King, mother courage and confidante of Tish, who went in quest of justice. A performance which earned the actress to be nominated for the Oscar for best supporting role, the 24th of February.

But Barry Jenkins has already a different date in mind: that of the series he is preparing for Amazon on “The Underground Railroad”. This legendary underground network has allowed tens of thousands of fugitive slaves reach the northern States of the United States or Canada and access to freedom in the years before the War of Secession. “We are in full process of search of the premises and of the players”, promises the future showrunner.

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