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Origin is a "must-see engaging powerhouse movie"


Ava DuVernay's film "Origin," which is an adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson's acclaimed book "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents," has been reported by ABC News as a significant cinematic landmark in the fight against racism. The film is recognized for its potential to address and heal the deep-rooted societal divisions in America.


"Origin" critically examines the concept of caste systems across various cultures, including India, Nazi Germany, and the American South, offering a lens to view and understand the complexities of racism. This film aligns with the anti-racist movement by challenging viewers to reconsider historical and contemporary social structures.

The narrative intertwines Isabel Wilkerson's personal experiences, portrayed by Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, with broader societal issues, such as the story of Trayvon Martin, to underscore the ongoing struggle to unite Americans across different backgrounds.

On Rotten Tomatoes, 118 critical reviews have been tabulated, giving Origin a "Fresh" rating of 81%. This continues a trend for DuVernay, as almost all of her films have received a "Fresh" rating on the review site. It is very rare for a filmmaker to keep up such a positive trend across all but one film in their career. The certified critics hailed her latest movie for its incredible performances, writing, and directing, as it delves into heavy topics of race and class while also telling the inspiring story of a powerful woman

Tips / Thought-starters

  • Using Film as a Tool for Anti-Racist Education: DuVernay's approach in "Origin" exemplifies how film can be a powerful medium to address anti-racism, by humanizing complex themes and encouraging viewers to confront and understand the roots of societal prejudices.

  • Narrative Storytelling as a Path to Healing and Unity: The film illustrates how blending personal stories with educational content can create a compelling narrative that not only informs but also has the potential to heal and unite Americans by fostering empathy and understanding.

Key Questions/Next Steps

  • Conveying Anti-Racist Messages Through Storytelling: How can creators in various fields craft narratives that effectively communicate anti-racist messages and contribute to the broader goal of healing America's racial divisions?

  • Balancing Educational Content with Emotional Resonance: What strategies can be employed to ensure that educational material, especially on sensitive topics like racism, is delivered in a way that resonates emotionally and aids in uniting Americans towards a common understanding?

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