Queen Sugar creator/executive producer Ava DuVernay had an emotional reaction to Warner Bros’ box office hit Wonder Woman. “I cried when Patty Jenkins’ name came up,” she said last night at an event promoting Season 2 of her OWN series, which returns with a two-night premiere June 20-21.
DuVernay, whose big-screen credits include the Oscar Best Picture nominee Selma and who is making Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time now, praised Jenkins for her inclusive casting and attention to detail. The origin story “accurately reflects that there were women soldiers and warriors who had come in from all across what the world was at that point. It was just that attention to detail that was wrapped in this big huge superhero thing,” she said.
She added: “When you unpack issues of sexuality and gender politics, there’s just a way [the film did so] with real intention that was like, ‘I’m coming from a place of equity’ that colored the whole thing. It didn’t feel wrong, and if you weren’t looking for it you wouldn’t have even felt it. If you were looking for it, you saw something, and you saw yourself. That was a beautiful example of what Hollywood can be, and that’s what happens when you let women direct.”
As for the second season of Queen Sugar, the Bordelon siblings return and continue the struggle to move forward with their lives while building their sugar mill as they strive to honor their father’s legacy. DuVernay, a champion of equality in Hollywood, again employs an all-female directorial team for Season 2 and takes extra measures to empower women onscreen.
“The Bechdel test is a test where you can apply in any kind of film and television show — ‘Is there a scene where two women have a conversation that is not about a man?’ she said. “Every episode of Queen Sugar has at least one scene that passes Bechdel.”
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