10th edition CIFF – 10-14 April 2024

If Beale Street Could Talk (2019 Feature Film)

Barry Jenkins | USA | 2018 | color | DCP | 120′ | English | n.s.

A moving, lyrical romantic drama that culminates in an emotional tragedy. In this sensual adaptation of James Baldwin’s eponymous novel, a pregnant woman in 1970s Harlem tries to prove her guy’s innocence. The couple are young, in love, and black. Will their love be able to flourish in this repressive, racist society?

In this sensual adaptation of the lyrical, eponymous novel by James Baldwin, a pregnant woman in 1970s Harlem, New York tries to prove the innocence of her lover, who stands accused of raping a white woman.

Just like in the book, scriptwriter and director Barry Jenkins (famous for Oscar winner Moonlight) ponders racial profiling in America. However, the film is more than a somber critique of the political system. Above all, If Beale Street Could Talk celebrates the love between stunning, young, sympathetic Tish and her guy ‘Fonny’. Their bond is tougher than the bad luck that tests their relationship, which just makes the film intensely sad. How cruel is it that a love so pure cannot triumph in a repressive, racist society? The warm colors, lyrical music and astounding performances from KiKi Layne and Stephan James make this romantic drama an unforgettable tragedy.

Place: The Cinemas 6

Date: 10 April 2019

Time: 22:00

Duration: 1:32

Place: The Cinemas 1

Date: 13 April 2019

Time: 15:30

Duration: 1:32

Place: The Cinemas 1

Date: 14 April 2019

Time: 15:45

Duration: 1:32

Year in



Barry Jenkins


James Laxton


KiKi Layne
Stephan James
Regina King




Joi McMillon
Nat Sanders






Nicholas Britell


Chelsea Barnard
Mark Ceryak
Megan Ellison
Sarah Esberg
Caroline Jaczko
Jillian Longnecker
Brad Pitt

Production Design

Mark Friedberg


Annapurna International

Year of Production


Barry JENKINS (1979, Verenigde Staten) studeerde film aan de Florida State University en brak door met de lange speelfilm Medicine for Melancholy (2008). Hij regisseerde meerdere korte films, was medeoprichter van het advertentiebedrijf Strike Anywhere en werd schrijver voor de HBO-serie The Leftovers. Moonlight (2016) won drie Oscars − waaronder die voor Beste Film − en de Publieksprijs tijdens IFFR 2017. Zijn James Baldwin-verfilming If Beale Street Could Talk werd genomineerd voor drie Oscars.



(selection) My Josephine (2003, short), Little Brown Boy (2003, short), Medicine for Melancholy (2008), A Young Couple (2009, short), Tall Enough (2009, short), Chlorophyl (2011, short), Moonlight (2016), If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)