Daily Archives: December 3, 2017

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Ava DuVernay’s Visionary Filmmaking Is Reshaping Hollywood

Her eye for American history puts her in the vanguard. Her passion for justice makes her a hero

By Jesmyn Ward

Article Reprint

Ava Duvernay makes art that looks squarely at society and takes it to task. “Mass incarceration is important to me. The fracturing of the black family structure is important to me. The trauma of history on the black family unit is really important to me,” she says. She makes films because she wants to foster beauty in the world, because she wants to stir strong emotion in her viewers, but her art is also a weapon, which she wields carefully and lovingly because she believes in “fighting for justice, fighting for good.” This is why she can bring Martin Luther King Jr. (Selma) and Nova, Charley and Ralph Angel Bordelon (“Queen Sugar”) to life, make them so real and multi­dimensional that viewers care for them even as they rail against a world intent on cowing them. In the end, DuVernay is taking the things important to her—“representations of family, representations of black womanhood, representations of good over evil”—and crafting stories of fallible people we love. Continue reading