A gut-punch of a debut that examines race relations in America with unabashed force, Johnson’s present-day interpretation proves, disgracefully, how pertinent Wright’s text remains.
Still set in Chicago and subdivided into “Fate,” “Fear,” and “Flight” segments (as in the source material but in rearranged order), the thought-provoking film is steered by Bigger “Big” Thomas, a non-conformist African American youth garbed in a customized leather jacket and sporting green hair.
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Lyrical voice-over quickly provides access to his sharp-edge observations on the external entities that constantly challenge his self-awareness. Parks and Johnson repeatedly confront him with fellow African