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Denzel Washington will direct and star in the movie “Fences” adapted from the Tony and Pulitzer prize-winning play by August Wilson, which explored race and class relations in America.

Washington will reprise his role as Troy Maxson after starting in the play, which ran for 13 weeks in 2010. The story is about a 53-year-old sanitation worker in Pittsburgh who spent time in prison for an accidental murder he committed during a robbery. Troy was a rising star in the Negro League and had hopes of making money as a baseball player, but he could not make enough to survive. He then becomes caustic and a stalwart against being irresponsible after experiencing a segregated world. This causes friction in his relationship with his son who wants to play football and who does not want a job. We all have fences that we build in life like Troy. However, you can build a fence, but make sure you have a gate to allow people to enter and exit.

What makes this film special? The message is universal said Washington.

“Fences is about a man who lives with a fence around his life to be able to lay claim to his own particular humanity,” said Washington. “What is so powerful about Wilson is that he speaks to our condition and at the same time it is universal,” Washington said.

“The thing about Wilson is he’s always had this cultural blues kind of spiritual theology in all of his plays. The beauty about ‘Fences’ is that it speaks about the universal, but like Wilson said, ‘You can never really disassociate yourself from being a black man in America.'”

“The thing about Wilson is he’s always had this cultural blues kind of spiritual theology in all of his plays.”

What does Washington want audiences to gain from the film? Well, it is up to them.

“What I want people to get from it depends upon what they bring to it. It’s not for me to decide what it is, it’s for you to watch it, enjoy it, and you decide what it is to you,” Washington told the Washington Post.

Viola Davis rejoins Washington as Rose Maxson where she picked up a Tony for her sparkling performance in the play in 2010.

“Fences” will open nationwide on Christmas day.

 

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