‘Origin’ Trailer: Ava DuVernay’s Acclaimed Drama Starring Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor Is One Of The Year’s Best

We hear all of the time about certain books that are unfilmable; they were not designed to be made into movies. At first blush, Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents would be one of those. The author’s in-depth look at caste systems throughout the world and how they relate to our understanding of racism would seem to be better as a documentary. But leave it to Ava DuVernay to turn Wilkerson’s intellectual endeavor into a deeply personal story that mustn’t be missed this awards season.

Unfortunately, Origin is getting overlooked as critics groups start handing out awards. Discussion has turned towards NEON and their handling of the film, which pales in comparison to the work they did on films such as Parasite and Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which you couldn’t get away from in previous years. To be fair, I think Origin is a more difficult film to promote because its story isn’t something that can be easily summed up. Frankly, the movie is too good, perhaps even DuVernay’s best yet, to get overshadowed just because some studio execs aren’t creative enough to know what to do with it.

The film stars Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor as Wilkerson, who faces her share of personal tragedy while researching the link between caste systems in America, India, and Hitler’s Germany.

Also in the cast are Jon Bernthal, Niecy Nash, Audra McDonald, Nick Offerman, Vera Farmiga, Blair Underwood, Connie Nielsen, Finn Wittrock, Jasmine Cephas Jones, and Emily Yancy.

Here’s the synopsis: While investigating the global phenomenon of caste and its dark influence on society, a journalist faces unfathomable loss and uncovers the beauty of love and human resilience. Inspired by the New York Times best-seller “Caste” and starring Academy Award nominee Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (“King Richard”), ORIGIN explores the mystery of history, the wonders of romance and a fight for our future.

Hopefully, this new trailer helps drum up the buzz that DuVernay and Origin deserve. The film expands nationwide on January 19th 2024. You can check out my review here.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.