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Format(s) Available
Opening Date
13 Jun 2024
NC16 Some Nudity
141 mins
English with English & Chinese subtitles
Biography, Drama
Ava DuVernay
Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jon Bernthal, Niecy Nash, Emily Yancy, Finn Wittrock
From Academy Award® nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ORIGIN explores the mystery of history, the wonders of romance, and a fight for our future. While investigating the global phenomenon of caste and its dark influence on society, a journalist faces unfathomable personal loss and uncovers the beauty of human resilience.

Based on Isabel Wilkerson’s ground breaking 2020 work of nonfiction, ‘Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents’.

Certified Fresh at 81% with an Audience Score of 97%.
By InCinemas  13 Jun 2024
An emotional ride from start to finish.
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From Academy Award nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay comes the biographical drama, ORIGIN, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson and her journey behind writing it.

Anchored by a great ensemble cast, with an incredible lead performance by Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, ORIGIN is an emotional ride from start to finish.

Beginning with an interpretation and re-enactment of the Trayvon Martin case, the topic was brought to Wilkerson's attention by a friend of hers, in a bid to write a piece, to which Wilkerson declined at first. However, upon listening to the tapes of calls made to 911 the night of Martin's death, Wilkerson was set on a determined path to explore, investigate and eventually write the book this film was based on, far beyond her friend's initial request for an article.

ORIGIN is not without imperfections. For one, the score may seem one-dimensional halfway into the film onwards – a missed opportunity to elicit empathy from more viewers. Structurally, this film treads on a fine line between a fictionalised biographical drama and a documentary, and while it is not a jarring problem, such a presentation or portrayal shortchanges the film's desire to trigger nuanced, intellectual discourse to address the central theme of caste, and might have been more effective if the film were to unambiguously stick to being either a dramatised biography, or a documentary.

The biggest praise for this passionate film is perhaps DuVernay’s commitment and faithfulness to the source material. Like any major topic with a long and complex history, a thesis is meant to meet its antithesis with an equally, if not more so, robust argument. The book on which DuVernay based this film has and continues to face challenges to the points and message it drives. However, DuVernay's ideological alignment and loyalty to both Wilkerson and the source material oozes through the screen. Helming this film as writer, director and producer, DuVernay is consistent in her vision in tandem with the book's thesis.

ORIGIN is a thought-provoking work like the book itself. Seek not to be convinced but to understand and analyze the position the film and its protagonist want us to. This film is highly recommended for any member of society whose heart aches for the injustice that some people face simply because of their background. And as a cinephile, it is always a treat to watch sublime acting performances in a film, and ORIGIN offers just that.
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