One of the most controversial novels of its day, Richard Wright’s Native Son(first published in 1940) exposed the injustices of urban African-American life, witnessed through the eyes of Bigger Thomas, whose violent tendencies and moral confusion were the natural result of a lifetime of deprivation. In prison for murder and sentenced to death, Thomas reflects on the circumstances that led to his fate.
Kino Lorber presents a new restoration of the 1951 film version of the novel, directed by Pierre Chenal and starring author Richard Wright as Bigger Thomas. A former Communist Party activist (he left the party in 1942), Wright was blacklisted in Hollywood and surveilled by the FBI. He found greater acceptance among the literati of Paris and later Buenos Aires, which had a thriving film industry that exported its products to Spain and Latin America. Producer Jamie Prades offered Wright the irresistible opportunity to adapt his “unfilmable” novel to the screen, under the direction of Belgium-born filmmaker Pierre Chenal.
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