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still from A Raisin in the Sun (Daniel Petrie, US 1961)

A Raisin in the Sun

Daniel Petrie / US, 1961 / 127 min.

An African American family waits for a $ 10,000 life insurance cheque to arrive, but instead of escaping poverty, the windfall causes major tensions about what to do with the money. This sometimes heart rending, sometimes funny drama is based on the first Broadway play written by an African American woman and featuring a largely African American cast.

poster A Raisin in the Sun (Daniel Petrie, US 1961)

Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play A Raisin in the Sun from 1959 was successfully filmed two years later. The original thespians including Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee once again play the roles of an African-American family living in a cramped Chicago apartment. They are waiting for life insurance money to come through and change their lives, but disagreement develops as to how to spend the money.

The mother (Claudia McNeil) wants to leave their apartment and buy a house in a white neighbourhood. Her headstrong son Walter Lee Younger (Sidney Poitier) hopes to open a liquor store with the money. Hansberry’s acute observations of generational conflict and housing discrimination are also in Petrie's film, which recorded the various privations of mid-century African Americans very movingly.

A Raisin in the Sun also links Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington. Poitier played in both the play and the 1961 film, Washington starred in a 2014 version of the play.

Details

Director

Daniel Petrie

Production year

1961

Country

US

Original title

A Raisin in the Sun

Length

127 min.

Language

English

Subtitles

NLD or ENG

Format

DCP

Part of

Sidney Poitier & Denzel Washington

Sidney Poitier was Denzel Washington’s shining example. The actors were good friends, but never played in a film together. This summer, Eye brings them together on the big screen for the first time by showing the best of their films.

Learn more
still from In the Heat of the Night (Norman Jewison, US 1967)
still from A Raisin in the Sun (Daniel Petrie, US 1961)
still from A Raisin in the Sun (Daniel Petrie, US 1961)
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