The award-winning director sat down with Adrienne Green to discuss the midseason finale of her television drama, Queen Sugar, which follows the fortunes of the Bordelon siblings manage a sugarcane farm in Louisiana that they inherited from their father as they debate the family’s curse or blessing.
“The show also touches on issues such as incarceration, police abuse, class, and the legacy of slavery as it persists in the South.”
DuVernay has been busy since winning the Best Director Award at Sundance Film Festival in 2012 and achieved many “firsts” in the last five years, including being the first black female director to have a movie (Selma) nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and a Golden Globe Award, says Green.
“Though DuVernay is juggling projects across different platforms,” notes Green, “she tends to focus on history and injustice. Perhaps none of her works better melds experimentation and realism than the television drama Queen Sugar.”
Currently, she’s preparing to direct Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time — a film with a $100 million budget. Rather than rest on her laurels, DuVernay has used her celebrity to call attention to the lack of opportunities for women and people of color in the entertainment industry.
Here, she talks to The Atlantic about how she manages to navigate the film and TV industry, particularly in Hollywood, and the importance of telling black stories.