Well, this is lovely. Ryan Coogler has written an ode to A Wrinkle In Time and its director, Ava DuVernay.
DuVernay, like Coogler, is part of a new generation of talented black filmmakers to rise to prominence in the last few years, and like Coogler she was recruited by Disney as part of what is beginning to look like a new wave of exciting, diverse genre films, making A Wrinkle in Time in parallel with Coogler’s work on Black Panther.
Now, at ESPN.com, Coogler’s lovely reflection on DuVernay’s career charts their parallel paths while also dialling in on the emotional power of DuVernay’s filmic retelling of A Wrinkle in Time, a story that is, as Coogler sees it, a powerful and familiar reflection on loss and love, influenced by the loss of DuVernay’s father:
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 mum, 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.
The friendship and connection between Coogler and DuVernay is touching, and their connection here and now, making the kind of movies so many people have wanted to see made for so long, feels epochal. If you want to have warm thoughts about how genre fiction can make the world a better place, click over to ESPN to read the whole thing.
A Wrinkle in Time, starring Oprah Winfrey, Storm Reid, and Chris Pine, is in theatres now.