‘Native Son’ Director & Cast: “Every Character is a Villain and a Victim” | Sundance


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(group laughing) – Ah! – I’m not even going to look. Watch this. This is important. – This is it. Are you ready for this? – There you go. (group applauding) (group yelling) (woman yelling) This is praise Rashid day. – Yes, it’s praise Rashid day, praising Rashid. (upbeat music) Our film is a coming of age story. It’s a story about a young man put into a situation that’s quite foreign to him. And then the decisions that he has to make as a result of being exposed to those new environments. It’s a complicated story. It’s one that has a long lead and a long history. And it’s one we were excited to tell. – I wanted to bring Bigger’s humanity, you know. It would have been easy to just play Bigger as one thing and he’s so multi-layered. I mean we as people are so multi-layered. – Something that was actually interesting in the theater today was one of the audience members said that every character in this movie is a villain and a victim at the same time which I actually really liked.

I think there’s a lot of truth to that. – There’s a lot of like humanity in that too. – For me, I was just trying to really lean into the love between Betsy and Big. And lean into how powerful that is but then also how painful it can be. When you you know, love can be the thing that helps you to get through so many circumstances. But when you’re in something that it’s like that’s not even enough. Or when you have to choose that I have to love myself more than I love this other person.

– You know you can always tell a film, the impact that it’s going to make if you are thinking about it days after and I cannot. I watched the movie for the first time last night and it’s devastating. It’s devastatingly beautiful in all the wrong and right ways. And today the images keep coming. And I know that that’s the effect that it’s going to to have when people see it. But I think it takes time. It’s not something that you can walk out a theater and be like oh I got this and this and this.

It’s going to to take time and it’s going to to take discussion and conversation and I think that’s exciting. – Yeah (group laughing) (upbeat music) .

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