Janelle Monáe defends the use of violence in Antebellum

Shyvonne Thomas, Ian Sandwell
·2-min read
Photo credit: Lionsgate
Photo credit: Lionsgate

From Digital Spy

Janelle Monáe has defended the use of violence in her new movie Antebellum, which is finally being released in the UK this week.

Having had its cinema release affected by the ongoing pandemic, Antebellum will be available to watch on Sky Cinema and NOW from Friday (April 2). The dark thriller centres on a successful author (Monáe) who finds herself in a horrifying new reality.

Its release in the US last year came with criticism over its violent scenes and the movie is a tough watch at times. However, Monáe has defended the use of violence as a necessary thing to show how things really were.

Photo credit: Lionsgate
Photo credit: Lionsgate

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"I think for me. I think there's no way to depict the horror of slavery, without showing the violence. That is what happened. Those are true events. And there were worse that happened that we didn't know about," she told Digital Spy and other press.

"I think for me, I will always say, if you were triggered by this and especially if you're a Black woman, then take the time that you need and step away."

We spoke to Monáe last August ahead of the planned release of Antebellum which she called a "movie for right now". It's something that still applies seven months later, even with the delayed UK release for the movie.

"I think there is no way to address what is going on in [the US] right now without talking about the past and without talking about chattel slavery, which informs why we are still in a country rooted in racist policies, in a country rooted in white supremacy, in a country rooted in systemic racism," she explained.

Photo credit: Lionsgate
Photo credit: Lionsgate

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"And I think that my hope is that those who are in a position of power and who benefit from these racist policies will dismantle them, and will fight to protect Black women, and who will stop the violence and the silencing of Black women.

"This is a mirror for those who have watched the violence against Black women and said nothing and done nothing, and who have committed those acts against Black women and Black bodies."

Antebellum will be available to watch on Sky Cinema and NOW from April 2.

For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.

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