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The New Republic’s October issue features a fascinating in-depth interview with Ava DuVernay, director of the Oscar-nominated Selma, about prison reform, cinema segregation, and the neighborhood where she grew up.
The director, whose new film takes on America’s prison system, also talks candidly about being a black woman in Hollywood, using cameras to tackle police violence, and her thoughts on Election 2016.
Selma entered DuVernay into the pantheon of important black directors and earned her wide acclaim. Since then, her power and influence as a director have only grown deeper with each project. She is unafraid to use her camera to disrupt and issue a serious demand to viewers, as consumers and citizens, to look deeply at black life and black representation in American cinema.
She is unique because of the rarity of her race and her gender in Hollywood—which reveals her enormous capability not to let the status quo stand in her way —but even more because she refuses to look merely to the past and mine it for comfortable, stagnant material. Instead, much like Meg Murry, the protagonist of A Wrinkle in Time—the next film she is set to direct—DuVernay works to thread together the past continuous.
Below are excerpts from the interview below.