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All Quotes by author - Dee Rees
" Actors need to know why they're saying what they're saying, more than just learning their lines. "
" A producer has to want you. And if the producer trusts you and asks for your vision, it frees you up so much, not having to explain or fight for every decision. You're allowed to create. "
" Art makes you see people as individual, unique human beings. Art, in that way, allows us to see each other in particulate, as opposed to in aggregate. "
" As long as you tell the best story possible, you can trust that people will be able to connect to it. "
" Before Charlottesville, it might have been easy to dismiss the plot of 'Mudbound' as no longer relevant. Now, I feel like audiences will be more receptive to the material - and to interrogating their personal histories after watching it. "
" Both grandfathers fought in different wars. My mother's father fought in World War II, and then my father's father fought in Korea. And they're both these country boys, one from rural Tennessee and one from rural Louisiana - and they never went back home. "
" Coming-of-age stories, people roll their eyes. "
" Contemporarily, we struggle with people worried about representation sometimes. It's a burden, as artists, that we take on that limits the work. It limits the characters people play. It limits the roles they want to do. "
" Creatively, I just like interesting characters. So straight, gay, or whatever - like, whatever, wherever the characters are coming from or their lifestyle. "
" Creatively, most of my influences come from the literary world: Alice Walker, Toni Cade Bambara. Writers are my heroes. "
" Culture - art, music, literature - is the long game, because it's the way to change people's ideas in a more personal way. "
" Each moment is defined by a multitude of histories, the past constantly converging upon us, perpetually decaying and reforming itself on the steady pulse of now, now, now, now. "
" Filmmaking in general is my second career. I thought that writing wasn't practical, so I went to business school and got an MBA, and I worked three years in grant management. "
" Filmmaking was the way I could write characters and not have to give them up to anybody. "
" For each character, I try to understand what is driving them. "
" For kids who are struggling, who are of faith, just reconciling yourself to the fact that God loves you, accepts you for who you are, is a big step in the healing, especially when your biological family is unaccepting of you. "
" For me, books were my source of affirmation. Alice Walker, Audrey Lord - it was these authors who wrote about their experiences. It was this weird thing where I was censored in terms of what I could watch but not in terms of what I could read. "
" For me, like, obviously, I want to see myself onscreen. "
" For me, 'Pariah' is very much about that inner churn. It's about this person's emotional inner life, and that's really what I wanted to bring to 'Bessie.' "
" For me, Sundance always felt big. It's not the only way to make your way, but for me, it was definitely that critical link between struggling artist, kind of working on my own, to actually working professionally and being connected and being seen. "
" For 'Pariah,' people were surprised Kim Wayans was there, but comedians have a dark streak; they're comedians for a reason. "
" Going into a room and saying, 'I'm a black lesbian' - it's a strike against you. "
" Growing up, I was very aware that there weren't many people like me on the screen. "
" Having to stake out your identity and have people question whether or not you're being yourself was a tension that I could relate to. "
" History informs where we are and how we got here. "
" I can't put anything out that's not me. "
" I definitely felt the desire to, like - I definitely knew there was an elsewhere. I definitely knew that, like, if I were going to be free, I needed to be away from, kind of, like, Nashville and kind of get out of the South and get out of the country. "
" I'd go to lesbian parties. I felt like I wasn't hard enough to be butch, but I wasn't wearing heels and a skirt - I wasn't femme - so I felt like I was sort of invisible. "
" I feel a lot of folks, like teenagers, can feel like outcasts. "
" If I can go three grandmothers back and find a slave, that means someone else can go three grandmothers back and find a slave owner. When you interrogate your histories, it forces you to rethink who you are and where you are. "
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