Ava DuVernay’s ‘Origin’ Trailer Explores Racism on a Global Scale

Origin (Credit: Neon)

Director Ava DuVernay takes on the global spread of racism in the new film Origin.

The trailer for the drama shows Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor as novelist Isabel, who falls in love and later endures personal loss.

Isabel is on a mission to investigate racism in the U.S. and its connection to Nazi Germany for her book.

The film is inspired by the 2020 novel Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Howard University graduate Isabel Wilkerson.

Ellis plays a fictionalized version of Wilkerson.

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The drama also stars Jon Bernthal, Niecy Nash-Betts, Emily Yancy, Finn Wittrock, Jasmine Cephas-Jones, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Connie Nielsen, Blair Underwood, Nick Offerman, Stephanie March, and Myles Frost.

Here’s the official description: “While grappling with tremendous personal tragedy, Isabel 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 our time.”

Origin premiered in September at the Venice Film Festival, where DuVernay became the first African American woman to have a film compete in Venice.

The director introduced the film and said she was told not to waste her time applying for the prestigious festival.

“As Black film makers we are told people who love films in other parts of the world do not care about our stories,” DuVernay said per Reuters. “I can’t tell you how many times I have been told, ‘Don’t apply for Venice, you won’t get in’. And this year it happened. Thank you. Something happened that hadn’t happened in eight decades before, an African American woman in competition.”

DuVernay adapted the script and produced the film alongside Paul Garnes.

Origin arrives in select theaters on Jan. 19.

Watch the trailer below: