Showing Roots shows at a/perture
A/perture cinema, Winston- Salem’s home for independent and foreign film fare, will present a special screening of the award-winning comedy/drama Showing Roots this Monday. The 7:30 p.m. screening sold out so quickly that an additional 8 p.m. screening was scheduled to accommodate audience demand.
The film, which won the Best Feature Film awards at both the Maryland International Film Festival (where it premiered) and the Bahamas International Film Festival, is set in 1977, when the entire nation was transfixed by the groundbreaking ABC mini-series Roots, based on Alex Haley’s mammoth nonfiction bestseller.
The airing of the mini-series so inspires two women that they take strides to integrate their own town, an effort that inspires both compassion and consternation from their neighbors, some of whom fully support the idea while others just as equally resist.
The all-star cast includes Maggie Grace (“Lost,” the Taken trilogy), Adam Brody (“The O.C.,” “StartUp,” Lovelace), Elizabeth McGovern (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for “Downton Abbey,” Oscar nominee for Ragtime), Uzo Aduba (two-time Emmy winner and two-time Golden Globe nominee for “Orange is the New Black”), Viva Bianca (“Spartacus: War of the Damned,” The Reckoning), J.D. Evermore (12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club, Django Unchained), Kerry Cahill (Daddy’s Home, Now You See Me, Terminator Genisys) and Cicely Tyson (Tony Award winner, three-time Emmy winner, Oscar nominee for Sounder).
Ironically, Tyson also appeared in the original “Roots” mini-series in the role of Binta, for which she earned an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie. Producer Susan Batten, a graduate of the UNCSA School of the Arts who makes her screenwriting debut with Showing Roots also appears onscreen in the role of Betty.
The film marks the feature directorial debut of Michael Wilson, a native of Winston-Salem and a graduate of Reynolds High School, where one of his teachers was the legendary Phyllis Dunning. Wilson previously directed Tyson in the Broadway revival of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful, for which she won her Tony Award, then helmed the Lifetime television adaptation in 2014, which earned Emmy nominations for Outstanding Television Movie and Tyson as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie.
Wilson and Batten will be on hand to introduce both screenings of the film at a/ perture, and will participate in a postscreening Q&A, but only after the 7:30 pm screening.
Showing Roots will be screened 7:30 pm and 8 pm Monday at a/perture cinema, 311 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem. Tickets are $12.50. For advance tickets or more information, call 336.722.8148 or visit the official a/perture website: http:// aperturecinema.com/. The official Showing Roots website is: http://showingrootsmovie.com/.