The Book of Negroes

Book vs. Movie

The Book of Negroes    The Book of Negroes (TV)

Ok.  I know that the book was never made into a feature film but it is certainly close enough.  When a novel has been produced into a six-part mini-series and features stars such as Cuba Gooding Jr., I think it is safe to say that it could easily be labeled a “movie”.  What is interesting here is that Lawrence Hill was one of the screen writers for this rendition of the story and even though he is the author of the novel, he made changes to the TV version.  I guess he felt that certain aspects of the tale would come out better on screen if presented in a different way and considering that the book was quite lengthy, time constraints and editing for a film production could get tricky.  I noticed that one of the main differences between the two was that Aminata first has a son in the book, whereas in the DVD, it is a daughter.  To make it a successful series, some parts were taken out and new scenes added.  Even new characters or situations were included to make the story on screen flow better.  In the end, I couldn’t complain about the TV version.  I followed it just as eagerly as when I read the novel for the first time.  Both were done very well and the actors did a great job portraying the characters.  I really felt empathy for them!  Although the book and mini-series vary from each other, they both make the same point: Aminata’s desperate struggle and victory is a bittersweet experience that many slaves found themselves in and it must be relived  through their eyes to acknowledge that all humans are equal.  The novel and DVD are both wonderful tools to relay this message.

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