Writer and Director Kasi Lemmons returns with the feel good movie of the season!
By Naomi Richard
Just in time for the holidays, BLACK NATIVITY is set to open at theaters near you with a star studded cast including Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Jacob Latimore, Nasir “NAS” Jones, Tyrese Gibson, Mary J. Blige and Vondie Curtis Hall. Black Nativity is a movie about love, family, hope, forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption. This musical will make you cry, laugh, cheer and shout!
In a contemporary adaptation of Langston Hughes’ celebrated play, the holiday musical drama BLACK NATIVITY follows Langston (Jacob Latimore), a street-wise teen from Baltimore raised by a single mother, as he journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett). Unwilling to live by the imposing Reverend Cobbs’ rules, a frustrated Langston is determined to return home to his mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson). Langston embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey and along with his new friends, and a little divine intervention, he discovers the true meaning of faith, healing, and family.
At the heart of the BLACK NATIVITY experience is music. “I first heard Forest sing Summertime and I knew he was classically trained. We were in New York for the movie and I had him sing for me. When I heard his voice, I immediately knew this was going to work,” commented Executive Music Producer Raphael Saadiq.
“He (Raphael) made me feel so comfortable in the studio and he pushed me to sing several songs. I felt so blessed to be chosen to do the duet with Jennifer Hudson. I saw her sing a duet with John Legend on YouTube and was so impressed. That song (Be Grateful) was a big moment for me,” said Forest Whitaker.
In a moving conversation, Kasi had this to say, “While working on this project for 5-6 years, I tragically and suddenly lost my sister. It was just horrible. When I saw Forest sing Be Grateful, I felt my sister standing behind him. It gave me such warmth and comfort. That moment will live with me forever.”
Angela Bassett was not to be left out of a singing role. “Kasi and I have been friends for years and were both in New York together for a while. She remembered that I could sing and asked me to sing in the movie.” Her musical talent will surprise you!
The music grabs your heart from the first powerful song by Jennifer Hudson, Test of Faith, sure to become Grammy® nominated, and it holds your heart until the final scene. Make plans now to see BLACK NATIVITY in a theater near you!