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Nia DaCosta’s New Candyman Short Film Tells the Story of Unwilling Martyrs

June 17, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Candyman Short Film

Nia DaCosta’s Candyman is set to release in September, but before that she has released a powerful short film touching on the franchise’s important themes. You can see the video below, which connects the origin of the franchise’s titular character to real-life violence against black people. DaCosta said of the puppet-created short film:

“Candyman, at the intersection of white violence and black pain, is about unwilling martyrs. The people they were, the symbols we turn them into, the monsters we are told they must have been.”

The film is directed by DaCosta, who is credited on the script alongside producers Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld. It stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II,Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and original Candyman Tony Todd and releases on September 25th. The synopsis reads:

For as long as residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighborhood were terrorized by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror. In present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Abdul-Mateen II) and his girlfriend, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Parris), move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by upwardly mobile millennials.

With Anthony’s painting career on the brink of stalling, a chance encounter with a Cabrini Green old-timer (Domingo) exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind Candyman. Anxious to maintain his status in the Chicago art world, Anthony begins to explore these macabre details in his studio as fresh grist for paintings, unknowingly opening a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifyingly viral wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.

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Candyman, Jeremy Thomas