Bigger “Big” Thomas, a young African American man, lives with his mother and siblings in Chicago. Half-heartedly involved with a girlfriend, he sports green hair and a punk jacket, smokes weed, and carries a pistol—but rebuffs his buddy’s “easy-money” scheme to knock off a corner store. Full of self-determination, Big accepts a job as the chauffeur for wealthy businessman Will Dalton’s family. Moving into their mansion, he begins driving Dalton’s vehemently progressive daughter, Mary. But his involvement in an accidental death places Big on a collision course with the powerful social forces pitted against him.
A thoroughly contemporary reworking of Richard Wright’s 1940 novel, Native Son asserts the story’s persistent relevance by bringing its interrogation of fear, violence, race, and circumstance into a critical modern context. The film’s enviable creative team includes screenwriter Suzan-Lori Parks (the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright of Topdog/Underdog); director Rashid Johnson (a renowned visual artist whose practice consistently engages African American history and culture); and Ashton Sanders (teenaged Chiron in Moonlight), who delivers an electrifying performance as one of the most complex, morally convoluted characters in American literature.
CATEGORY U.S. Dramatic Competition
RUN TIME 108 min