Yes, a Black Woman Is Directing Film Adaptation of Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower—Which Is Timely and Relevant AF
Below Dreams' Garrett Bradley poses for the Tribeca Film Festival at Getty Images Studio on April 22, 2014; Remembering Octavia Butler: Black sci-fi writer shares cautionary stories in unearthed 2005 interview.
Black Sci-Fi Beehive, Assemble! We have yet another confirmation for an adaptation based on the work of the late, great Octavia Butler.
On Monday, Deadline reported that acclaimed director Garrett Bradley (Time) will direct a film adaptation of Butler's acclaimed 1993 novel Parable of the Sower, with A24 recently acquiring the rights.
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That means we're now on a sacred triad of butler film adaptations led by black women - it was revealed last year that Ava DuVernay's ARRAY was an adaptation of Dawn (directed by actress and director Victoria Mahoney) and earlier Janicza Bravo (Zola) was confirmed to direct the upcoming TV series based on Kindred. In addition, the singer, songwriter, guitarist and activist Toshi Reagon adapted Parable of the Sower into a “community opera”, which premiered in 2017 at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD).
Let's get into the synopsis of the novel via Goodreads:
In 2025, as the world sinks into madness and anarchy, a woman begins a fateful journey into a better future.
Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the few safe neighborhoods on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of her defended enclave, Lauren's father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens are trying to save the remnants of a culture destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water scarcity. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyper-empathy, a condition that makes her exceptionally sensitive to the pain of others.
When a fire destroys their property, Lauren's family is killed and she is forced into a world full of danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety to develop a revolutionary idea that can save all of humanity.
Uhh, looks familiar to me ?! I'm pretty sure - in the last year alone - we all made some sort of omen-esque apocalyptic murmur. Hell, we're actually ahead of schedule. Yikes Climate change is very real and the social impact on blacks is even more real.
Speaking of 2020, this energy "give Octavia Butler her overdue flowers" has been rumbling on another level since September when her work (Parable of the Sower) finally hit the New York Times bestseller list. It was almost 50 years before her work appeared on this coveted list, by the way, and it was a lifelong dream for Butler. Butler was also the first science fiction writer to receive a Macarthur "Genius" grant.
As for Bradley, if you don't know her (yet) ... you should probably get to know her. She won the directing award at the Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Competition 2020 for her documentary "Time", which was later nominated for an Oscar. You've likely also seen her name in the credits of the recent documentary Naomi Osaka, which chronicles the young superstar athlete's professional and personal journey.
Make a note of Bradley's name - I suspect you will hear it more often.
In this article:
Octavia E. Butler
American science fiction writer (1947-2006)
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