Set for release on Digital HD on Monday (December 14th) and on DVD on January 11th, Black or White debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014 and is finally getting a release over in the UK.
With the release imminent, we have spoke to some of the talented filmmakers and actors behind the film to find out why they got involved with the film (which was financed by star Kevin Costner) and what can audiences expect from the film:
Mike Binder, Writer-Director: “I wanted to do a piece about where we go forward in racial relations in this country. I wanted us to have a conversation.”
Octavia Spencer, Rowena: “Mike has this way of telling real-life stories and you’re getting a lesson but you don’t realize it, and you’re enjoying yourself, but it really makes you ponder or assess yourself.”
Anthony Mackie, Jeremiah: “There aren’t too many movies with a story that forces you to think. What Mike has given us is a three-dimensional story with three-dimensional characters.”
Kevin Costner, Elliott: “He’s so prolific as a writer. All the scripts were good, and they kind of smelled like me. [But] they were all near-misses for me. I was taken with the first page of the script, I was emotional, and that’s hard to do—to do emotion off of a page in a script and to do so early on in a script. A lot of times you can build something to the point where you’re terribly moved, but Mike’s writing was very precise. The onion begins to peel back, and he goes home to an empty house. Only it’s not empty. Inside is a little girl, a black child. And you’re thinking, ‘What movie am I in?’ Mike keeps us right on the edge. It was clear to me that the movie wasn’t going to be made, and it wasn’t going to be made because its value was being questioned overseas. That irritated me because I feel this movie is very commercial. I feel it represents all the ideas that we love about cinema and touches those notes beautifully.
Cassian Elwes, Executive Producer: “Kevin is such a good barometer for himself of the types of movies that work for him. Reading the script, you could just see him in it, and knowing what he would bring to the table would just elevate the movie.”
KC: “I have done this before in my career and I felt Black or White was worth doing, and I’d do it again. For me, it was easy to see this as a movie, and easy to see audiences watching this in the dark.”
OS: “If Rowena is the matriarch of the film, Elliott is the patriarch, He has suffered tremendous losses—his daughter and now his wife. The last bastion of the life that he knew is his granddaughter. It’s so dark, you feel for him. You hate him at the same time you love him.”
KC: “The world Rowena provides is a world that Elliott doesn’t completely understand, he’s just afraid of it, afraid of South Central. He knows his own world and he thinks his fence and his alarms will keep [his granddaughter] safe.”
OS: “It’s a battle, of wills—a battle over what makes a family—that will leave audiences moved. Whether you’re with Elliott and against Rowena, or if you’re with Rowena against Elliott, by the end of the movie, if you can’t find your way to the middle, there’s something wrong.”
André Holland, Reggie: “People who see this film will have no choice but to feel something and to have strong opinions. This movie will definitely start conversations and bring up some potent feelings. I think that’s what art is supposed to do— help us see each other in different ways.”
Directed by Mike Rinder (Reign Over Me), Black or White stars Kevin Costner (Man of Steel), Octavia Spencer (The Help), Anthony Mackie (Captain America: Civil War), Gillian Jacobs (Community), Jennifer Ehle (Fifty Shades of Grey), Andre Holland (42) and Bill Burr (Breaking Bad).
Signature Entertainment Presents Black or White on Digital HD from 14th December and DVD 11th January, 2016
You can pre-order the Digital HD copy of Black or White here
Thanks to Witchfinder PR, Marek and Rob for their help with the interviews.