Director: Jonathan Demme

Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton

A mysterious, awkward child is adopted by a couple of slaves.

There’s been some considerable effort to disguise the supernatural elements – part Poltergeist, part The Monkey’s Paw - of Demme’s adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, partly because the structure of the film unfolds so delicately, but mainly because it would have almost certainly have poisoned any efforts to market the film to it’s most likely target audience. In the end it amounted to wasted effort, and the film wasn’t as successful, commercially or critically, as might have been expected given its impressive pedigree. The horrific moments don’t sit well alongside the rather overwrought drama about one woman’s attempts to live a life free from slavery, but they do provide some of the movie’s most startling images, which are perfectly captured by The Silence of the Lambs director / cinematographer team of Jonathan Demme and Tak Fujimoto. 

The Region 2 Touchstone DVD is presented in 1.85:1 ratio and, unlike the American version, is enhanced for 16:9 playback. Sadly, other than a host of language and subtitle options, there are no special features on this version, not even the short “making of…” featurette that graced the US disc.








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