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If Beale Street Could Talk 2018

If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk

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About the If Beale Street Could Talk 💬

''Beale Street is a street in New Orleans, where my father, where Louis Armstrong and the jazz were born.

Every black person born in America was born on Beale Street, born in the black neighborhood of some American city, whether in Jackson, Mississippi, or in Harlem, New York. Beale Street is our legacy. This novel deals with the impossibility and the possibility, the absolute necessity, to give expression to this legacy.

Beale Street is a loud street. It is left to the reader to discern a meaning in the beating of the drums.''

James Baldwin

Academy Award-winning writer/director Barry Jenkins' first film since the Best Picture Oscar-winning Moonlight is If Beale Street Could Talk, his adaptation of James Baldwin's novel - the first English-language feature film based on the work of the author, to whom the movie is dedicated.

  • Love brought you here.

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).

Tish and her fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James) are a young couple in the poor neighborhood of Harlem. Fonny is falsely accused of raping a Puerto Rican woman and is imprisoned without trial. A short time later, Tish learns that she is expecting a child from Fonny. She confidently assures him to get him out of prison before he is born. With the help of the family, she tries by all means to prove his innocence...


I set off in the summer of 2013 to Europe to write an adaptation of James Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk in the hope that one day I would have the privilege and permission from the Baldwin Estate to make it into a feature film. Every decision I made to bring this project into the world had its roots in a fidelity to the source material, a fidelity to Baldwin's vision. The characters in Baldwin's work are drawn in a very specific way, from Tish to Fonny and on throughout their loves and families - Ernestine, the Hunts and, of course, her parents, Joseph and Sharon. Being the first person entrusted to bring any of Baldwin’s novels to the screen in his native tongue, it's been a goal of mine to draw these characters as close to Baldwin's imagining as possible.

Between the two relationships at the core of the film - Tish and Fonny, Sharon and Joseph - there's this lovely rhyme of relationships functioning as the buffer that, for black folks, makes the world worth enduring, that makes the broken promise of the American dream worth striving for.

Transmuting these ideas - thematic, intellectual, emotional ideas - through performers and with the collaborators behind the camera I've long called family, I could think of no better way to honor my favorite author, James Baldwin.

''Love brought you here.'' My favorite line from Baldwin's magnificent novel. And the spirit with which we all brought ourselves to make If Beale Street Could Talk.

Barry Jenkins

If Beale Street Could Talk Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Barry Jenkins

Writing Credits

Barry Jenkins (Screenplay)

James Baldwin (Based on the book by)


KiKi Layne

Stephan James

Regina King

Colman Domingo

Teyonah Parris

Michael Beach

Aunjanue Ellis

Ebony Obsidian

Dominique Thorne

Dave Franco

Diego Luna

Pedro Pascal

Emily Rios

Ed Skrein

Finn Wittrock

Brian Tyree Henry

Music by

Nicholas Britell

Cinematography by

James Lacton

Categories: Oscars, Oscar Academy Award Winner, Golden Globes, Golden Globe Winner, EEBAFTAs, BAFTA Award Nominee

Genres: Crime, Drama, Romance

Country: United States

If Beale Street Could Talk Official Trailer

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