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‘Origin’ Review: Ava DuVernay’s Unflinching Drama On The Structures Of Global Oppression – Venice Film Festival

By Valerie Complex
September 06, 2023
By darcostudio
September 06, 2023

In Ava DuVernay’s seventh feature, Origin, which premiered tonight at the Venice Film Festival, the exploration of caste systems as a mode of oppression takes center stage. With screenplay written by DuVernay, the film is adapted from the Isabel Wilkerson’s book, Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents. The narrative delves into the deep-seeded intricacies of caste and how it underpins much of society’s discrimination, sometimes transcending even race. The film stars Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jon Bernthal, Niecy Nash-Betts and also includes Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Nick Offerman, Blair Underwood and Connie Nielsen.

The film starts with a young Black teenager buying snacks at a convenience store. He leaves, puts on his hoodie and begins walking through a suburban neighborhood while talking on his cell phone. He notices that a car is following him around and won’t leave him alone. Then it switches to the next day, where Isabel Wilkerson (Ellis-Taylor) is waking up her elderly mother while her husband Brett (Bernthal) is taking out the trash. They are taking her to a facility for the elderly since she no longer can live alone.

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