“That story was the one I had to do,” admits Gina Prince Bythewood about directing the pilot episode of ABC’s historical drama “Women of the Movement.” “That’s how I guide my decisions,” she says, adding for our recent Q&A, “There’s so much I want to do, but what should I have do?” We spoke with Prince-Bythewood as part of Gold Derby’s special “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with the 2022 Emmy nominees. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
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ABC’s Women of the Movement was created by Marissa Jo Cerarbased on the books “Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Powered the Civil Rights Movement” by Devery S.Anderson and “Death of Innocence: The Hate Crime Story That Changed America” by Grandma Till-Mobley and Christopher Benson. The historical drama centers on Till-Mobley (Adrian Warren), who has dedicated his life to seeking justice for his murdered son Issue up to (Cedric Joe), and co-stars Tonya Pinkin, Ray Fisherman, Gary Basaraba, Carter Jenkins and Emmy winner Glynn Turman. The six-episode limited series opens in 1955 Mississippi, on the eve of Emmett’s vicious murder. The series then explores the aftermath of the crime and Mabie’s fight for justice for Emmett, ensuring that her legacy would help spawn the civil rights movement in the Jim Crow South.
“The story of Emmett Till and his murder is a story that I shared with my sons. I have two boys. When they were little, they knew the story, “reveals the director. “So we have felt like here we had this ability to tell a story that’s still terribly relevant in our time, and we didn’t want it to feel like a museum piece. We wanted people to be able to feel the urgency of the story,” she explains. “I think the hardest thing about telling this story is how much research I think we all do to take on a project like this, it’s that every time I read the story, every time I research, the ending isn’t. change. As filmmakers, we often work in storytelling and you have to create the ending. You can create the story and where the character goes and how they behave. And in this case, Caroline Bryant, this woman who lied about this 14-year-old boy and what he did, which led to his murder; his actions never changed. The actions of these men have never changed. And it was a striking thing to think about that every day and it absolutely drove our work every day that we had to get it right.
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