Barry Jenkins: ‘Maybe America has never been great’

Barry Jenkins: ‘Maybe America has never been great’
The Moonlight director on how making his epic TV adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer prize-winning The Underground Railroad compelled him to fully confront the history of slavery, as well as his own damaged childhood

Barry Jenkins first heard the history of the Underground Railroad from a teacher when he was six or seven years old. The school lesson described the loose network of safe houses and abolitionists that helped enslaved people in the American south escape to free states in the north in the 19th century. Jenkins as a wide-eyed kid imagined an actual railroad, though, secret steam trains thundering under America, built by black superheroes in the dead of night. It was an image, he recalls, that made “anything feel possible”. “My grandfather was a longshoreman,” he says. “He came home every day, in his hard hat and his tool belt, and his thick boots. And I thought,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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