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If Beale Street Could Talk

Directed by: Barry Jenkins

Cinema program "If Beale Street Could Talk" in Berlin

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Movie poster Gdyby ulica Beale umiała mówić
Original title: If Beale Street Could Talk
Runtime: 119 min.

Directed by: Barry Jenkins
Cast: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King

A new film by Oscar® winner, screenwriter and director Barry Jenkins, the creator of the success of the Moonlight. The film is the first English-language film adaptation of the work of James Baldwin, and the picture is dedicated to him.

Seventies of the twentieth century. A moving, timeless love story about inseparable love relationships connecting two people, in the background of which we observe the story of an African-American family. "If Beale Street Could Talk" is a story seen through the eyes of nineteen-year-old Tish (KiKi Layne), in love with her fiancé, the artist - Alonzo, known as Fonny (Stephan James). Both of them grew up in their company, so this extraordinary love was born. Only Fonny is unjustly arrested for a crime he did not commit ...

The film has won the recognition of film critics around the world. Regina King, who plays the role of Sharon Rivers, received a dozen or so film awards for this role, including the Golden Globe for the best supporting actress.

Position of Barry Jenkins, screenwriter and director of the film:


In the summer of 2003, I went on a trip to Europe to write an adaptation of the novel by James Baldwin "If Beale could speak". I hoped that one day the heirs of James Baldwin would agree that I could create a movie based on this book. Every artistic decision I made while working on adaptation has roots in an attempt to stay as close as possible to the source material, and hence Baldwin's novels. The characters in Baldwin's work are outlined in a very specific way. Tish and Fonny and their loving families - Ernestine, the Hunts, and of course Tish's parents - Joseph and Sharon. I became the first filmmaker who was trusted and who was allowed to transfer Baldwin's books to the screen using his native language. My ultimate goal has been to create characters that are closest to the ideas of James Baldwin.

Between the two relationships that underlie this film - Tish and Fonny, and Sharon and Joseph - there is this specific "love rhyme" of their relationship. Something that is a kind of buffer that allows black people to make their world permanent, has not passed away. Something that makes the broken promise of the American Dream still something worth fighting for.

By transforming these ideas - thematic, intellectual, emotional ideas - into the language of the film - with the help of actors and the whole team, which I call my family, I tried to meet. I tried to bring the other world to the language of the cinema to pay tribute to my beloved writer - James Baldwin.

"Love has brought me here." This is my favorite phrase from his extraordinary novel. But all of us, working on this film, brought here also the soul who watched over us.

Barry Jenkins

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Movie trailer: If Beale Street Could Talk

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