Known for his films like If Beale Street Could Talk, Moonlight and Medicine for Melancholy, Barry Jenkins is back in action again. The multi-talented director, who also dabbles between screenwriting and producing, is all set to dazzle audiences across the globe in the upcoming web series The Underground Railroad on May 14. While we certainly can’t wait to hit the play button as we stream away on Amazon Prime Video, here are 5 of his movies and web series that you just shouldn’t miss.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, the film is an adaptation of James Baldwin’s emotionally potent 1974 novel of the same name. Starring KiKi Layne and Stephan James, the movie revolves around the life of a young woman, who seeks to clear the name of her wrongly charged lover and prove his innocence before the birth of their child. What leaves a lasting impression on the viewer and is sure to stun you is the truthful manner in which this inspiring love story is narrated. The 2018 film saw actress Regina King take home two awards for Best Supporting Actress, one at the 2019 Academy Awards and the second at the Golden Globes.
The film is an adaptation of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unproduced play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. It is a story of a young African American man and his coming of age, presented through three stages in his life – childhood, adolescence, and early adult life. A feel-good story right from the start to the very end, Moonlight is a film that lifts your spirits in no time and changes the way you look at the world. One of the many life lessons that the movie imparts is how one should fully grasp minor details, to fully understand its silences. Starring Trevante Rhodes in the lead, the film was honoured with the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) and Best Screenplay.
The Underground Railroad
The series is an adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel published in 2016. The series stars Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon and Joel Edgerton. It chronicles Cora Randall’s (newcomer Thuso Mbedu) desperate bid for freedom in Georgia. Each episode puts Cora in a new situation that’s desirable to life on the plantation, yet covers its own deceptive version of racism. From its trailer, the series promises to be a visually stunning and an emotionally-wrenching story of an escaped slave. The wait to see this fascinating story is just a few days away as The Underground Railroad will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video from May 14, 2021.
Medicine for Melancholy
This is where it all began for Barry Jenkins as the 2008 film marked his foray into cinema as a filmmaker. Directed and written by him, the romantic drama stars Wyatt Cenac and Tracey Heggins. It addresses the challenges of being black in San Francisco, which has the lowest population of African American people in the U.S. Just like his other movies, Jenkins offers two points of view at once: life as experienced by the characters and the world as revealed by the camera.
Charm of City Kings
Directed by Angel Manuel Soto the story is written by Barry Jenkins, Chris Boyd and Kirk Sullivan. The film is inspired by a documentary, 12’0 Clock Boys about the bikers of Baltimore. It stars Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Meek Mill, Will Catlett and Teyonah Parris. It is an honest coming-of-age story set in metropolitan city Baltimore during the summer. It’s an energetic, thoughtful story which also captures the young character’s passage into a socially satisfied life.
Don’t miss out on interesting stories and hit the play button right now to experience Barry Jenkins at his brilliant best.