Fantasia Barrino on Healing, Celie and THE COLOR PURPLE – Bonnie Laufer interviews

The latest version of The Color Purple to hit the big screen is based on the stage musical of the same name, which in turn is based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Alice Walker. The story involves the traumatic struggles of a young African American woman living in the South during the early 1900s. The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, and Fantasia Barrino in her film debut as the lead character, Celie. Bonnie Laufer caught up with Fantasia Barrino to talk about her big screen debut and how it differs from the stage performance.

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TELL IT LIKE A WOMAN – Review by Jennifer Green

Marketed around its concept of stories by and about women, this compilation of shorts was co-produced by the non-profit organization We Do It Together, which promotes gender parity in film and media. The stories mostly revolve around women in crisis, which provides narrative drama but doesn’t feel universal or representative of women’s lives in general. While there’s plenty of diversity across the shorts in terms of race, ethnicity and nationality, the focus begs the question of why the film didn’t opt for more diversity in stories and tone. Being a woman doesn’t have to mean overcoming constant crises, does it?

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Taraji P. Henson’s deal with BET Studios – Brandy McDonnell reports

BET recently announced an overall deal with Taraji P. Henson’s TPH Entertainment for BET Studios, a studio venture launched in September 2021, powered by the infrastructure and financing of BET and Paramount. The venture was designed to supply the increased demand for premium content from Black creators across an array of internal buyers, including Paramount+, Showtime, CBS, Nickelodeon, BET+ and BET, as well as to select third-party platforms that seek best-in-class content from both leading and rising Black creatives.

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WHAT MEN WANT – Review by Susan Granger

Hollywood’s current penchant for gender-flipping – like Ghostbusters (2016) and Oceans 8 (2018) – continues with this raunchy remake of Nancy Meyers’ romantic comedy What Women Want (2000), starring Mel Gibson. Hard-working Ali Davis is a selfish, ambitious, Atlanta-based sports agent who is passed over for a long-overdue promotion to partner by her chauvinistic boss , who points out that, although she reps Serena Williams, none of her clients are from the “big three” sports leagues: NBA, NFL and MLB.

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, January 6 to 12: HIDDEN FIGURES

History has a way of disappearing women, particularly women of color. Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures dramatizes the true stories of African-American women whose brilliant mathematical skills guided NASA’s space shots. The film’s title refers to both the women and the math. Opening January 6, 2017, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Hidden Figures,
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