Love Gala in association with Time Out
If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins follows his Oscar-winning Moonlight with an audacious, distinctive and assured adaptation of James Baldwin’s account of love, injustice and racism in America.
Dir-Scr Barry Jenkins
Prod Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy, Barry Jenkins, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Megan Ellison
With KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, Regina King
UK Distribution Entertainment One
‘Love is what brought you here and if you trusted it this far, trust it all the way.’ Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James) have known each other since childhood, but only latterly discovered that the safe, easy familiarity between them has bloomed into a love so intoxicating it promises everlasting joy and happiness. But life is not destined to be so easy for a young black couple living in 1970s Harlem. Fonny is falsely accused of a rape and an unjust judicial system refuses to acknowledge the impossibility of his having committed the crime. Tish and her family struggle to exonerate him. This is only the second time a book by Baldwin has been adapted for the screen (Robert Guédiguian directed a Marseille-set version of this story in 1998). In adapting Beale Street, Jenkins creates an authentic and graceful film about black lives in America – like a missing piece of cinema history for people long denied representation on screen. And with cinematographer James Laxton (Moonlight) and designer Mark Friedberg (Wonderstruck, Selma), he has crafted a ravishing world. The lushness of the film’s images interacts beautifully with its spoken text, capturing the poetry of Baldwin’s language. Fonny and Tish’s story asserts that, even in a world of corruption and prejudice, love and dignity can prevail.
The screening on Sat 20 Oct has an audio-description soundtrack for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. Headphones are available on request at the venue.
The screening on Sun 21 Oct has English language subtitles, including descriptions of non-dialogue audio, for customers who are D/deaf or hard of hearing and an audio-description soundtrack for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. Headphones are available on request at the venue.