The Color Purple
The Color Purple. Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

American author Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, ‘The Color Purple’ was made into the beloved film, ‘The Color Purple’ in 1985. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it starred Whoopi Goldberg as downtrodden main character ‘Celie’, Ghana’s Akosua Busia as her sister ‘Nettie’, Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover as ‘Mister’, ‘Celie’s’ abusive husband. The film which is an epic coming-of-age story centered around an abused, maltreated ‘Celie’ who has to also deal with racism, pedophilia, sexism and poverty was critically received and acclaimed when released in 1985.

American Ghanaian renaissance man (he is also a musician in a band and is an artist) Blitz Bazawule was picked by Steven Spielberg and Oprah to direct the reimagined take on the epic after Bazawule’s stunning 2018 film, ‘The Burial Of Kojo’ caught their eye. Co-produced by Ama K. Abebrese (she also narrated and starred in the film), ‘The Burial Of Kojo was shot in Ghana and also caught the eye of Hollywood’s Ava DuVernay, who disturbed the film through her independent distribution company, ARRAY. 

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Yesterday Warner Bros. Pictures shared the trailer for the new film. The trailer is breathtaking.  Fantasia Barrino makes a stunning major picture debut as lead, ‘Celie’ (Phylicia Pearl Mpasi plays the younger ‘Celie’). Her performance will likely attract much Oscar Award nomination buzz. It also stars Taraji P. Henson, Halle Bailey, Danielle Brooks, H.E.R, Colman Domingo, Corey Dawkins etc.

Bazawule’s Ghanaian heritage possibly influences his directorial work on this movie as there is a scene in the 7th second of the 2.24 minute trailer where  ‘Adowa’ dancers dance regally on the sea shore. They are dressed as they would be in Ashanti Ghanaian tradition. This scene is used in the film to bring to life a lesson on ‘Africa’ and how the African American characters in the film consider how they are descendants of African royalty.

The trailer shows that Bazawule has done a great job as director. Produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones and Scott Sanders, the new take on ‘The Color Purple’ is in cinemas in America on Christmas day 2023.

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