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See James Baldwin in Barry Jenkins’ Emotional ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Trailer

New film from ‘Moonlight’ director is based on late author’s 1974 novel

KiKi Layne as Tish and Stephan James as Fonny star in Barry Jenkins' IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, an Annapurna Pictures release.

A couple is torn apart by unspeakable injustice in the powerful first trailer for Barry Jenkins' 'If Beale Street Could Talk.'

Tatum Mangus/Annapurna Pictures

A couple is torn apart by an unspeakable injustice in the powerful first trailer If Beale Street Could Talk. The movie is based on James Baldwin’s 1974 novel of the same name and the trailer arrives on the late author’s birthday.

Directed by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk tells the story of Fonny and Tish, a young couple who are expecting their first child when Fonny is framed for rape. Tish enlists her dysfunctional family to help prove Fonny’s innocence and free him from a corrupt system.

The trailer is light on plot specifics, but captures the emotional turmoil of the story. Shots of Fonny and Tish together one moment are juxtaposed with footage of them separated by the glass of a prison visitation booth.

The trailer is guided by an old audio clip of Baldwin, who says, “When I was growing up, I was trying to make a connection between the life I saw and the life I lived. There are days when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it.”

If Beale Street Could Talk stars Stephan James as Fonny and Kiki Layne as Tish. The cast also boasts Regina King, Brian Tyree Henry, Colman Domingo, Dave Franco and Teyonah Parris. The film will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival before arriving in theaters this fall.

In This Article: RSX

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