How Barry Jenkins made the Black period love story we've been waiting for
The Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk director sits down with Amanda Parris
Scrolling through Barry Jenkins's IMDB page, aside from a voice acting role in a short about Chris Bosh, you may notice an absence in 2013. But that year might be one of the most significant in his career.
It's the year when he wrote both his 2016 Oscar-winning film Moonlight and his latest sure-to-be-Oscar-nominated film, If Beale Street Could Talk — a poignant film tackling heavy subjects like racial injustice and the prison industrial complex, based on the James Baldwin novel of the same name.
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Set in early 1970s Harlem, Beale Street deals with themes of anguish, tragedy and violence — but what resonated most strongly for CBC Arts host Amanda Parris is that underlying all of that trauma is the Black period romance that she's been waiting for her whole life.
Amanda sat down with Barry Jenkins when he was in Toronto for TIFF to discuss the film's relationship to Moonlight, and delve into the story's quiet moments, where the lifelong romance between the two leads (played by Stephan James and Kiki Layne) are put to the test by a world that is constantly conspiring to tear them apart.