“Are you offended?”
Explosive. Provocative. Mischievous. Incendiary. Bristling. Delicious. Savage. Gleeful.
The screen adaptation of Clybourne Park, written by Bruce Norris and directed by Pam MacKinnon, stars Golden Globe® winner Sarah Paulson, Anthony Mackie, Golden Globe® winner Martin Freeman, Golden Globe® nominee Uzo Aduba, Nick Robinson and Hillary Baack.
The film is produced by Simon Friend (The Father) and BAFTA® nominee Kevin Loader (The Death of Stalin, The Lady in the Van, The History Boys).
Clybourne Park first stormed Broadway in 2010, winning Tony, Olivier and Pulitzer awards – a trio no other play has achieved. Also written by Norris and directed by MacKinnon, the play lobbed a hand-grenade into the stalls, leaving audiences utterly astonished.
The film’s combustible mix of race, family and community is first sparked by a simple act: a couple, Bev (Sarah Paulson) and Russ, struggling to overcome family tragedy, are moving out of their home outside Chicago. It being 1959, it’s an ‘all-white’ suburb – and Bev and Russ are selling to a black family. A group of ‘well-meaning’ neighbours, led by Karl (Martin Freeman), drop round to voice their concerns…
Neighbourly visits are dripping with politeness, apparent tolerance, searching innuendo, and, agonisingly, must be listened to by ‘the staff’, Francine (Uzo Aduba) and Albert (Anthony Mackie).
What starts as a friendly discussion evolves into all-out war.
When our story relocates to 2009, and a new community generation, the neighbourhood is transformed but just as divided as before. We see that patronizing insensitivity is very much alive and well today. It seems our self-guiding embrace to ‘love thy neighbour’ evaporates when property prices are under threat!
How far have we really come in the last 50 years? The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Clybourne Park teases audiences to check themselves: to ask whether we’re really any better than those we’d dismiss as racist; or are we just better at denying or disguising our own prejudice?
The film skewers hypocrisy without mercy; and bulldozes, hilariously, towards the real feelings and attitudes that lie in the chasm between what we might politely say… and what we might really mean.
Cast: Sarah Paulson, Anthony Mackie, Martin Freeman, Uzo Aduba, Nick Robinson & Hillary Baack
Director: Pam MacKinnon
Writer: Bruce Norris
Producers: Kevin Loader & Simon Friend