[AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM HISTORY] GISELE FREUND. The shooting of Richard Wright's Native Son
, 1951. Approximately 22 gelatin silver prints, likely printed later, the largest 10 x 7 7/8 inches (252 x 198 mm) on larger sheet, versos annotated (apparently by Freund) with titles in pencil (in her hand?), with her copyright stamp. Some creases, handling marks etc.; together with a 1968 note by Freund gifting the collection; and her mimeographed captions and account of the taking of the photographs, 7 pp. in total. Stapled as issued.
This was the first adaptation to film of Wright's classic novel of racism and the Black experience, though at least two subsequent versions have been made. This first film version succeeded a Broadway adaptation, produced by Orson Welles, and the director Pierre Chenal closely followed Welles's staging. Starring the author Wright as Bigger, the central role, the film proved extraordinarily controversial in the United States. Even after substantial editing, many states apparently refused to permit it to be shown, and so much was cut that it interfered with the coherence of the film, causing it to be widely panned. The complete version, as Chenal and Wright had intended it to be seen, did not appear until 2016, screened at the Museum of Modern Art. The present images of the filming appear to be quite rare.
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