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Ava DuVernay’s ‘Origin’ Wows Venice With Nine-Minute Standing Ovation

By Patrick Brzeski, Alex Ritman
The Hollywood Reporter
September 06, 2023
By darcostudio
September 06, 2023
Federico Vespignani/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

DuVernay’s powerful biographical drama is the first movie by a Black U.S. female director to be included in the official competition at the world’s oldest film festival.

Ava DuVernay‘s latest feature, Origin, made a major splash at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday, earning a nine-minute standing ovation and hoots of appreciation as the curtain came down on its world premiere.

DuVernay is making history in Italy this week. Origin is the very first movie by a Black female director from the U.S. to be included in Venice’s official competition across the event’s 80-year duration. (Watch the trailer for Origin below.)

An innovative drama, Origin is inspired by the remarkable life and work of Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson — played by Oscar nominee Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard) — as she pens her recent, seminal nonfiction book, Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents. While grappling with tremendous personal tragedy, Wilkerson sets herself on a path of global investigation and discovery. Despite the colossal scope of her project, she finds beauty and bravery while crafting one of the defining American books of recent years.

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