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Cord Jefferson’s ‘American Fiction’ is Winning! | WATCH

*His film has already won over eight awards! Cord Jefferson‘s “American Fiction” is captivating festival audiences all over the world and will continue to win awards after its December 15th limited theatrical release by Amazon MGM Studios.

The director, writer, and producer spoke to us about his satirical comedy following an author (Jeffery Wright) who writes an outlandishly stereotypical “Black” book out of spite and his unexpected lady friend Coraline (Erika Alexander).

Q: “American Fiction” is like a high-level success story of ‘code-switching’…When was the last time you had to code-switch?

CJ: All the time! I mean, all the time! The reality of the world is that the higher you climb on the ladder, the fewer Black people you’re going to see in these rooms. You have to find ways to code-switch to work in this industry. That’s a very real thing that happens. Fortunately, I do think things are changing incrementally, but they are changing. Ninety-eight percent of the people who read this script passed on it. 20 years ago, this movie wouldn’t have been financed or made. The fact I was able to get people to write me a check for millions of dollars to make this film, proves we are moving forward. I do think it is a minor miracle this movie was made.

Erika Alexander stars as Coraline and Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious "Monk" Ellison in writer/director Cord Jefferson’s AMERICAN FICTION. An Orion Pictures Release. Photo credit: Claire Folger © 2023 Orion Releasing LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Erika Alexander stars as Coraline and Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison in writer/director Cord Jefferson’s AMERICAN FICTION. An Orion Pictures Release. Photo credit: Claire Folger © 2023 Orion Releasing LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Writer/director Cord Jefferson on the set of his film AMERICAN FICTION. An Orion Pictures Release. Photo credit: Claire Folger © 2023 Orion Releasing LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Writer/director Cord Jefferson on the set of his film AMERICAN FICTION. An Orion Pictures Release. Photo credit: Claire Folger © 2023 Orion Releasing LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Q: How did you choose the title of the film?

CJ: “American Fiction” on its face is a publishing pun. It’s a pun about bookstores and the way we classify novels. But the grander fiction is this idea of race. It’s this idea that the inherent absurdity of race is both not real and real. The scientists will tell you it’s not real, and yet we’ve structured society in a way that suggests it is real. There’s an inherent tension between that ridiculous absurdity. That’s always a good target for comedy like I want to underline the absurdity and exaggerate the absurdity. That’s always my favorite humor. To me, that’s what the fiction is in “American Fiction” as well. It’s not just the publishing pun, but it’s also suggesting that this is a deeply American lie that we’ve all been told, and here’s how we act because we believe the lie.

EA: …[This isn’t fiction for Monk] because he’s become a version of something else to be successful. He didn’t just code-switch. He became a whole other person. Remember, he’s on the phone acting. That’s a version. And even that’s another version of something that’s not true. It’s meta. This movie ain’t no joke!

Also, being black in America is a lot about grief. Who do we have to be to be ourselves? Who did we become? And what did we lose along the way? Would we identify ourselves on our earlier path if we had to look at the mature version that we became?

For more details follow #AmericanFiction | @americanfictionmovie | @OrionPictures

For theater locations, film times, and tickets click here

RELATED NEWS ON EURWEB: Cord Jefferson Receives Visionary Award at Urbanworld Film Festival Opening Night Screening for AMERICAN FICTION | Video

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