‘Origin’ Review: a Powerful Look at the Effects of Racism and Discrimination

'Origin' Review a Powerful Look at the Effects of Racism and Discrimination (NEON)

Ava DuVernay’s “Origin” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that explores the roots of racism and oppression.

Based on Isabel Wilkerson’s book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent,” the film follows Wilkerson’s journey as she researches and writes about the pervasive caste system that perpetuates inequality. Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor shines as Wilkerson, bringing depth and emotion to the role.

A scene in the movie ‘Origin’ (NEON)

The film is both intimate and epic, spanning continents and time periods. Ellis-Taylor’s performance keeps the film grounded, even as it struggles to cohesively tie together its various storylines.

DuVernay’s direction is ambitious, and the film’s final act is particularly powerful, leaving the viewer shaken and ashamed of the centuries of oppression inflicted upon marginalized communities.

The film’s exploration of caste discrimination and racism is timely and essential, even if some viewers may take issue with Wilkerson’s theories.

DuVernay’s decision to adapt the book as a narrative film rather than a documentary adds an extra layer of emotional depth to the story. While some scenes feel disjointed, the film’s impact is undeniable.

Ellis-Taylor’s performance is a highlight of the film, bringing Wilkerson’s strength and vulnerability to life. The supporting cast, including Jon Bernthal and Niecy Nash-Betts, adds depth to the story.

The film’s themes of oppression, racism, and the power of writing as a form of solace are timely and impactful. “Origin” is a vital and thought-provoking film that will resonate with audiences.