BLACK PANTHER and A WRINKLE IN TIME are competing at the Box Office, but there’s no such conflict between director’s Ryan Coolger and Ava DuVernay as the former publishes a beautiful ode to the latter…
Although Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time opened to lower numbers than estimated, it still managed to gross enough to put it ahead of Black Panther last Friday. Making it the first movie to surpass the marvel adaptation at the domestic box office, since the film’s debut three weeks ago.
Despite this and the fact that DuVernays adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle 1962 novel has garnered mixed reception, one person is still very much enamored with the Selma director. Ryan Coogler, who took over the job of directing Black Panther after DuVernay passed on it has penned a heartfelt letter published on ESPNW championing her film, achievements and what she means to him.
He opens the piece:
“Ava DuVernay is someone who makes the impossible look easy. It’s why I feel privileged to call her my big sister. I met her in 2013, but she’s one of those people who you feel like you’ve always known,”
The Creed director then echoes the sentiments that many have been laying and his and Marvel’s feet with Black Panther, but praises DuVernay’s celebration and pro-active commitment to diversity long before breaking into the mainstream:
Ava is a pioneer. She makes the most distant dreams and ideas a reality. She made a show called “Queen Sugar” and mandated the use of female directors and key creatives a full two years before the great Frances McDormand shared with the world what an inclusion rider was. Ava is inclusion, equity and representation.
Further on the topic of A Wrinkle In Time, Coogler frames his view and praise of the film with the beautiful sense of empowerment it gives it’s young audience, as well as the tragedy and personal grace that the 13th director found in every moment of producing the film:
“Then she infused the love she had for her father, and her mother who is still with us, into the beautiful film A Wrinkle in Time. I watched closely from across the hall at Disney while working on Black Panther as my big sister inspired her crew with love and navigated the challenges of studio filmmaking, adapting a book that many people called unfilmable into a movie that explodes with hope, with love and with women warriors.
“But above all, it’s a film about a little black girl with glasses — like my mom, like my wife, like my big sister Ava — who refuses to accept that her dad is lost. The main character in the film, Meg, uses her love, her hope and her kickass skills as a scientist to bring him back, and maybe she saves the universe along the way.”
It’s clear that there’s a lot of love between the two filmmakers and it’s a wonderful and beautiful thing to see, two new high profile black talent’s celebrating each other and lifting each other up. What’s more, in a glib and cynical internet landscape of comments sections making genre fiction compete, and disparaging films like A Wrinkle In Time before even seeing them: Coogler gives us a much needed sense of heart.
You can read Coogler’s letter in full by following the link above.