Sofia Coppola has faced backlash for her new movie The Beguiled as the film features only white actors and left out a slave character featured in the book and original movie.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker is opening up about why she decided to leave this character out of her remake.
“There have been some questions regarding my approach to my new film, The Beguiled. More specifically, there have been objections to my decision not to include the slave character, Mattie, inThomas Cullinan’s book on which my film is based. I would like to clarify this,” Sofia said in a statement given to Indie Wire. “My film is set in a Southern school for girls at the point in the Civil War when the men had been away fighting for some time and the Union had gained momentum. According to historians and several women’s journals from the time, many slaves had departed, and a great number of white women of the South were left in isolation, holding on to a world whose time had rightly come to an end—a world built on slave labor.”
“I wanted to tell the story of the isolation of these women, cut off from the world and in denial of a changing world. I also focused on how they deal with repression and desire when a man comes in to their abandoned world, and how this situation affects each of them, being at different stages of their life and development. I thought there were universal themes, about desire and male and female power dynamics that could relate to all women,” she continued. “The circumstances in which the women in my story find themselves are historically accurate—and not a distortion of history, as some have claimed.”
Sofia concluded the lengthy statement by saying, “it has been disheartening to hear my artistic choices, grounded in historical facts, being characterized as insensitive when my intention was the opposite.
Read the full statement on IndieWire.com.