Jon Bernthal and Aunjanue Ellis in 'Origin' (Courtesy of Neon)

‘Origin’ Movie Review

America’s racism is special. It is covert, overt, institutionalized, and systemic.

The intricacies of it have been studied by scholars wishing to obliterate the construct, but also oppressors abroad wanting to copy it for their own goals to exert power and control.

When did racism actually start? Was it on that sunny morning of October 12, 1492, when Columbus and his homicidal homies invaded the “New World”, exterminating the Taino people and enslaving the other natives?

Was it August 20, 1619, when the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia?

Was it the Indian Removal Act of 1830, also known as the “Trail of Tears,” where the United States Federal government cleared the land of Indigenous citizens for White settlers, forcing them to walk hundreds of miles to designated “Indian Territory?”

Better yet, was/is racism about one’s skin color, or is it something deeper?

In the new movie “Origin”, a brave journalist set out to discover what was at the core of such hate.

Does this film have a dream of triumph, or should it be avoided by any means necessary? Let’s go!

All I wanna say is that, they don’t really care about us.

Origin” is directed by the incomparable Ava DuVernay, and stars Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jon Bernthal, Niecy Nash-Betts, and Emily Yancy.

The film details journalist Isabel Wilkerson’s compelling journey after the death of Trayvon Martin and through enormous personal tragedy to embark on a global quest of investigation which ultimately leads to her New York Times bestseller, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.”

Every once-in-a-blue-moon, a film comes along that transcends cinema. A film that possesses one’s soul. A film that should be regarded as a National Treasure.

Origin” is that film. 

You all have seen movies about race, racism, slavery, and oppression.

What “Origin” does is break racism down, breaks it down to its very last compound, and analyzes its nucleus.

Is it just about Whites oppressing Blacks for centuries because of the color of their skin?

Is oppression solely based on skin color?

Wilkerson travels across the world and asks the same of the German’s treatment of Jews.

If their skin color is the same, what was the reasoning for their oppression?

What’s with India and their Caste system?

There are individuals who have the exact same hues but are born and relegated – forever – as subhuman.

The more Wilkerson learns of other cultures and their methods of persecution, the more she begins to heal from her pain…what a paradox, right?

The lessons are jarring to say the least, and it may overpower the performances.

That’s why I’m here to tell you to watch everything!

Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor is a beacon of hope onscreen. Her character isn’t grandiose.

Her endearing personality breaks down the walls of the toughest individuals, like a scene involving a plumber wearing a particular cap.

Ellis-Taylor’s chemistry with Bernthal is undeniable.

Their relationship is love personified.

He gets her and he also realizes how hard it is to be a minority, a black female minority, in this male-dominated society.

He protects and motivates.

Niecy Nash-Betts is the scene-stealer.

Her performance is astounding! You’ve never seen her like this.

Her role as Wilkerson’s cousin will leave you breathless. It’s her time!

Origin” is shot in a way that has flashbacks, time-shifts, includes multiple magnificent stories, extreme close-ups and edits which may confuse you.

I promise, however, once you get used to them, and it won’t take long, it will only enhance your viewing pleasure.

It is not formulaic; raw yet refined.

DuVernay has solidified herself as one of the G.O.A.T’s.

She has a long career ahead of her, but so far, “Origin” is her magnum opus.

You will leave the theater a different person, I guarantee this.

Yes, your emotions shall be spent.

This movie isn’t preachy or gratuitously graphic, but it does have harsh scenes to make a point.

Origin” is the greatest movie I’ve seen; therefore, I’m giving it a Co-sign CLASSIC.

Please see this masterpiece, and please go to a theater to see it.

Most of us only view racism on a surface level. What about its origin?

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