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Illuminating Injustice
アカデミー賞監督 人種差別描く新作を語る

20190223_250 In creating his recent film "If Beale Street Could Talk," American director Barry Jenkins draws attention to social injustices that he says are continuing decades after the publication of the 1974 book that inspired the film.

Based on the namesake novel by James Baldwin, the drama depicts a young black couple's romance in New York City in the 1970s amid their struggles with racism.

"The power in making (the film) now was to show how these problems have been allowed to continue to exist since that time — to sort of shame us for not addressing some of these systematic injustices," Jenkins, 39, said in an interview in Tokyo ahead of the film's release in Japan on Feb. 22.

In the movie, saleswoman Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne) falls in love with Alonzo "Fonny" Hunt (Stephan James). She becomes pregnant, but Fonny is convicted of a crime he didn't commit and is imprisoned. Their families work to prove the charges are false as an anxious Tish keeps supporting Fonny.

Jenkins says that he himself has experienced some of the types of injustices that the characters in the film experienced, recounting one time he was called the "N-word" by a driver behind his back.

"If this can happen to me on my way to the Oscars, then I'm sure it happens every day to many people who are less famous and less known," he said.

In his film, however, Jenkins also depicts a strong bond of love between the main characters, just like he did in his earlier Oscar-winning film, "Moonlight."

"It's interesting, because the only thing about those stories that is pure is the love between the two protagonists. Everything else, everything around them is much more gray and much more complicated," he said. When approaching such romances, he said, "the skeleton of it is just very pure love, but that, to me, illuminates how complex everything else is."

"If Beale Street Could Talk" has been nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay. Jenkins said he hoped that through the film Japanese audiences will understand that in some ways, his culture is not so different from theirs.

"We all need family; we all need love," he said.

(By Yoshinaga Yasuo)

[本文 - 370 words]

映画「ビール・ストリートの恋人たち」は2月22日(金)からTOHOシネマズシャンテ他、全国順次公開(ロングライド配給)

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【KEYWORDS】

illuminate 明らかにする

injustice 不公平、不正

"If Beale ... Talk" 「ビール・ストリートの恋人たち」(後出 "Moonlight" は「ムーンライト」〈2016年〉)

publication 出版

namesake 同名(の)

depict 描く

struggle with ~ ~との闘い

racism 人種差別

shame 恥じ入らせる

address ~ ~に対処する

systematic 構造的な

become pregnant 妊娠する

(be) convicted 有罪判決を受ける

commit (罪を)犯す

(be) imprisoned 投獄される

charge 罪、容疑

recount ~ ~について詳しく語る

N-word 黒人の蔑称を指す間接的表現

Oscar アカデミー賞授賞関連イベントのこと(後出と Academy Award はアカデミー賞、Best Adapted Screenplay は脚色賞)

bond 絆

protagonist 主人公

approach ~ ~に迫る

skeleton 骨組み

週刊英語学習紙 毎日ウィークリーのサイト 「Mainichi Weekly」

Feb 22, 2019 1面 |