Barry Jenkins, 'If Beale Street Could Talk' Cast On The Timeless Power Of This Love Story

This exclusive featurette highlights how a lesser-celebrated James Baldwin story came to life.

One of James Baldwin’s most underrated books has been adapted for the big screen, thanks to Barry Jenkins’ forthcoming project “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Adapting the 1974 novel of the same name, the “Moonlight” director captures the tragic love story of Tish and Fonny, a young engaged couple planning to start their lives together until their dreams come crashing down when Fonny is arrested and falsely accused of raping a woman. Tish finds out that she’s pregnant while he is in jail, and their families work to get justice for him.

It will be the first theatrically released English-language adaptation of a Baldwin novel. “Go Tell It on the Mountain” was made into a TV movie in 1984, and “Where the Heart Is” was released in France as “À la Place du Coeur” in 1998.

In an exclusive clip provided to HuffPost Black Voices by Annapurna Pictures, Jenkins and the cast discuss the power of Baldwin and the relevance this story holds for black life today.

“Baldwin’s legacy is very important, very rich. I wanted to bring this book into the world intact,” the director says in the clip. “The condition of black life that Baldwin was writing was to illustrate how Tish and Fonny’s love is threatened simply by them being alive in America at the time the film’s set.”

“If Beale Street Could Talk” stars KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King and Colman Domingo. The film hits New York City and Los Angeles theaters on Dec. 14 and expands nationwide through January.

Watch the exclusive clip above.