The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, in collaboration with the Capri Theater and the Minnesota Historical Society, presents If Beale Street Could Talk, directed by Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9 at the Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway. Tickets to First Thursday Films are $5; purchase in advance at mspfilm.org or at the door the night of the show.
Based on the acclaimed novel by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk is a timeless and moving love story of 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). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) directed the film and adapted the screenplay. Regina King won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her role as Tish’s mom, Sharon Rivers.
Film critic Odie Henderson writes, “The most striking thing that you’ll take with you is that Baldwin’s novel was written 44 years ago, but it’s just as timely now. Not much has changed for people of color, which probably wouldn’t surprise the author. And yet, he’d demand we not give up. This film powerfully conveys that message. The struggle is real, but so is the joy. We live, we laugh, we love and we die. But we are not gone. Our story continues, carried onward by our storytellers.” (RogerEbert.com)
Audience members can be assured of an insightful and intriguing conversation after the film, with this month’s discussion leader to be announced.
If Beale Street Could Talk is one of six events featuring Capri programs and partners, May 7-12 at the Capri, just before construction begins on the theater’s 20,000 square foot expansion and renovation. The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul has partnered with the Capri to present First Thursday Film @ the Capri for four years.
First Thursday Films @ the Capri is presented and curated by the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul as part of Black Cinema: Under the Skin, a program of films by Black filmmakers and exploring Black culture and experience. Topical and relevant in these turbulent times, Black Cinema aims to create a space for dialogue and better understanding. First Thursday Films @ the Capri is generously supported by Film Society Masters Bill and Michelle Pohlad, the Minnesota Historical Society and Target.