‘Native Son’ May Go Over People’s Heads, But Its Filmmakers Say Their Goal Was ‘Never Pandering’

IndieWire | 1/26/2019 | Michael Nordine
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“Native Son” made headlines even before its world premiere at Sundance, with HBO Films acquiring Rashid Johnson’s directorial debut from A24 before anyone in Park City had the chance to see it. But reviews have been mixed, with some critics objecting to the way a key plot twist from Richard Wright’s novel was handled and the change in the film’s tone that results. It’s a challenging film – and if you haven’t read Wright’s novel, it’s a roller coaster ride to watch. It doesn’t deal in absolutes, and it lacks characters that can be easily classified as “good” or “bad.”

As more and more viewers have had the chance to see it, screenwriter Suzan-Lori Parks has a message: “If you feel it going over your head, your job is to reach. You gotta reach up there, because we cannot give up on each other.” Parks was in the IndieWire Studio presented by Dropbox, where IndieWire’s Christian Blauvelt asked her about the film’s more challenging aspects.

Johnson - Goal

Johnson agreed: “Our goal was...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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