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“A Poor African-American Woman in the Jim Crow South”: Maggie Greenwald |Sophie and the Rising Sun

Sophie and the Rising Sun

In every film, there is the story that you knew you were telling, the story the audience perceives. But there is always some other story, a secret story. It might be the result of your hidden motivations for making the film, or, instead, the result of themes that only became clear to you after you made the movie. It might be something very personal, or it might be a story you didn’t even know you were telling. What is your film’s secret story?

As the screenwriter as well as director of Sophie and the Rising Run, I didn’t believe there were any “secrets” for me to discover about this story. However, when we began filming, I was constantly surprised by the new meaning the actors brought to the dialogue, deepening the meaning of many of the scenes. Most profound for me was how much more Lorraine Toussaint brought to her character than I had written. Thinking about this now, I’d say the “secret film within the film” is the story of a poor African-American woman in the Jim Crow South.

Sundance Responses 2016

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