THURSDAY, 25 JULY – 7.30pm
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
2018 | US | Drama-Romance | Directed by Barry Jenkins. Starring Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo. 119 min. Rated 15.
Based on the novel by James Baldwin, this adaptation is a timeless and moving love story of both a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (screen newcomer KiKi Layne).
In 1970s Harlem, teen sweethearts Tish and Fonny (Stephan James) dream of a future together, but are torn apart when Fonny is wrongly arrested for the rape of a Puerto Rican woman through the machinations of a racist cop. Tish’s mother Sharon (Regina King, winner of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar) embarks on her own crusade to seek justice for Fonny, while Tish, who is pregnant, turns to her family and community for support.
Through the unique intimacy and power of cinema, If Beale Street Could Talk honours Baldwin’s prescient words and imagery, charting the emotional currents navigated in an unforgiving and racially biased world as the filmmaker poetically crosses time frames to show how love and humanity endure.
NOTE: Our screening of If Beale Street Could Talk is partially funded by the BFI Cinematheque scheme, which encourages audiences to explore more diverse and independent films.
“Magical filmmaking which looks for, and finds, beauty in the most unlikely places.” – Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent ★★★★★
“If proof were needed that Barry Jenkins’s directing achievement [for Moonlight] was far from a one-off, it pulses and dances through every sequence of his follow-up . . . in all its gorgeous romantic melancholy and sublimated outrage.” – Tim Robey, The Telegraph ★★★★★
“A powerful condemnation of endemic and structural racism, a sweet love story and, at a technical level, a beautifully produced film.” – Eye for Film