Black History Month Selection
February 16 – 19
Four days Friday – Monday
7 pm Evening Shows ONLY
2023 — Drama
PG13 — 2 hr 13 min
Ava DuVernay’s unflinching drama on the structures of global oppression is a moving drama that’s unafraid to ask big questions, Origin honors its source material with powerful performances in service of a deeply emotional story. The When They See Us director looks to Isabel Wilkerson’s landmark book to challenge the tools used to divide humans, drawing connections between India, Nazi Germany and American inequality. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Isabel Wilkerson rejects the word “racism.” It’s not that she doesn’t believe that racism exists; rather, she doesn’t think that racism alone can explain the inequity in human society — the way America’s founders could have written “all men are created equal” and meant something so different.
Wilkerson’s theory, as articulated in her book and portrayed in the film, draws parallels between American slavery, the Holocaust and the plight of the Dalit “untouchables” in the Indian caste system. As a viewer, be prepared for the visceral brutality of the portrayal of racial and ethnic trauma as these scenes are distressing as hell. There usually is pushback when these types of visuals are present, but thankfully, it’s not there for shock value. The film wouldn’t be able to function without these visuals because the audience needs to see the physical comparisons up close.
The film will get people thinking and talking. The way DuVernay directs it, Origin is a swirling tornado of ideas. Watching Ellis-Taylor put them together is like witnessing Russell Crowe do higher math in A Beautiful Mind or seeing detectives in a David Fincher movie standing before a bulletin board full of clues, panting, “It all means something!” Here, Isabel proclaims, “The interconnectedness, that is my point!” at a family picnic. Origin offers the best of both worlds: a well-developed story with a three-dimensional lead character who grows over the course of the movie and an intellectually satisfying element folded into the screenplay.
Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor as Wilkerson, alongside Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Niecy Nash-Betts, Nick Offerman, and Blair Underwood.