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‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ director Barry Jenkins on the Golden Globe nominations, adapting James Baldwin and the empathic power of Regina King

I was thinking about it, and I felt like allowing the book and the film to remain set in the period that it was written was a much more constructive way to shine a light on how little has changed from then to now. The book poses so many of these issues that are still relevant right now. Policing, sentencing, so many things about the judicial process, these bedrocks of American society have been disproportionately antagonistic to certain people and I think that you don’t have to look very hard in the headlines to see. Just in the last three or four months, the 2nd Amendment has been something that we’ve all been talking about and yet there have been so many times where a black man either in a law enforcement position or a security position or in an open-carry state has been gunned down for merely holding a firearm. The 2nd Amendment is an inalienable right for some people, but not for all. So I think Mr. Baldwin was speaking about, again, density, chemistry, you don’t have to have a story that’s overwrought with these issues for these issues to be a part of the narrative. And I think that the place that we arrived at in telling this story, it’s a manifestation of life, of love and hope and family, but it doesn’t shy away from the very real obstacles that certain people face in this country. And continue to face since 45 years ago when this book was published.