Sunday, June 23, 2013

Book of Negroes Director Interviewed

A mini-series based on Canadian novelist Lawrence Hill’s award-winning 2007 novel, The Book of Negroes, will reach small screens some time in the latter half of 2014. From CBC, Hamilton:

The series will be produced by Conquering Lion Pictures and directed by Toronto's Clement Virgo. His most recent work includes directing seven episodes of the NBC/CTV show The Listener. He is perhaps most famous for the features Poor Boy’s Game, starring Danny Glover, and Lie with Me, a provocative romance that has played in over 45 countries.
 The Book of Negroes is expected to begin shooting this fall in South Africa. 

Yesterday Joanna Ward interviewed director Clement Virgo for the CBC.
CBC: That was one thing I noticed that a lot of people are concerned about, that the book would be watered down when it was converted to television, that some of the grit of the story would be left out. How do you feel about that? 
CV: I’m not so much concerned about the, as you said, the grit not being in the story. For me, it’s more about the emotional impact of the story as opposed to the graphic nature of the story. We’re not going to shy away from the reality of what happened.
I want the audience to feel the story as opposed to just watching a spectacle and feeling detached from it. So for me, I’m not so concerned about it being watered down. I’m very, very confident that we’ll be able to translate the emotional impact of the story.
Virgo also said that, even though author Lawrence Hill’s novel -- released internationally as The Book of Negroes -- was sold in the United States as Someone Knows My Name, Virgo said he expected the mini-series to be distributed in the U.S. under its original title. Virgo said that “so far we haven’t had any objections to that title. So right now it’s called The Book of Negroes in the U.S. and around the world.”



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