Look up "Darren Grant" on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), and you won't learn much about the young director, whose first feature film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, opened in theaters last week. IMDb doesn't have a bio on Grant, but he reveals a bit of his background in his "Diary of a First-Time Director" at the Mad Black Woman official site. He apparently had a career directing music videos and commercials before his father first introduced him to Tyler Perry's plays. It wasn't long before he met Perry and the two clicked, and Perry hired Grant to direct the film, based on Perry's popular play of the same name.
Grant says that working alongside Perry "was truly an honor," and that "we all had the same vision of creating a movie that showcased our people [African-Americans] in a different light. This would be a defining moment in black cinema that fed our current social consciousness. This would be a film … that took you on a journey of emotions and was visually captivating and ultimately led back to family and forgiveness." (Indeed, the film's official subtitle reads: "Time Heals the Heart. Faith Heals the Rest.")
You can read more about the plot and the film in our review.
We caught up with Grant recently, shortly before the film opened, and asked him about the movie's redemptive qualities.
This film is very redemptive, and unashamedly Christian in its resolution. Most films cop out and give a very generic spirituality that won't offend the audience. Did the studio want you to tone it down?
Darren Grant: We were going to make this film with or without the studio. Tyler Perry has had huge success with his plays; they've made millions, so he doesn't care what the studios think.
We made this film for the audience, not ...1
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Catching the Spirit
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