If Beale Street Could Talk, the first English-language feature film based on James Baldwin’s novel, will explore both themes of the unbreakable bond between a couple in love and the empowering embrace that the Black family can give. The film will be brought to the screen this fall by writer/director Barry Jenkins, and is his first film since winning the Best Picture Oscar for Moonlight.
“Set in early-1970s Harlem, If Beale Street Could Talk 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 (KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.”
Along with James and screen newcomer Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk, also features the talents of Regina King, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Michael Beach, Aunjanue Ellis, and many more.
The film is dedicated to author, whose words and imagery reportedly come alive through the intimacy and power of cinema at the hands of Jenkins.
If Beale Street Could Talk will be released in theaters this fall.