Sunday, December 5, 2021
Jonathan Demme’s expressionist adaptation of Toni Morrison’s supernatural novel of the same title stars Oprah Winfrey as Sethe, a former slave who lives alone with her daughter Denver (Kimberly Elise) in Ohio shortly after the end of the Civil War. Sethe is visited by an enigmatic girl named Beloved (Thandie Newton), who bears a strong resemblance to the daughter whom Sethe had tragically lost years earlier, and Sethe comes to believe that Beloved is in fact the product of reincarnation. Glover plays Paul D., another former slave who stays with the family after performing a rite to cleanse Sethe’s house of an apparent poltergeist, ignorant of Sethe’s role in the origins of this haunting… A powerful, suspenseful film about guilt, memory, and the horrors wrought by slavery, Beloved endures as a mesmerizingly ahead-of-its-time take on the ghost story. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.