Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Wendy Williams is Crushing the Competition in the Ratings, as Queen Latifah's Show Struggles In Last Place Wendy Williams is Crushing the Competition in the Ratings, as Queen Latifah's Show Struggles In Last Place The Cast of 'A Different World' 20 Years Later - 'Oprah: Where Are They Now?' The Cast of 'A Different World' 20 Years Later - 'Oprah: Where Are They Now?' Lamman Rucker, DB Woodside, Billy Dee Williams, Christian Keyes Lead 'Man in 3B' (Based on Carl Weber Bestseller) Lamman Rucker, DB Woodside, Billy Dee Williams, Christian Keyes Lead 'Man in 3B' (Based on Carl Weber Bestseller) The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Considering 'Windward Heights' (Afro-Caribbean Version of Brontë Novel) As A Feature Film...

Shadow and Act By Vanessa Martinez | Shadow and Act April 30, 2014 at 11:38AM

Considering 'Windward Heights' (Afro-Caribbean Version of Brontë Novel) As A Feature Film...
1
Windward Heights

Editor's note: Thus far, since I launched the "Consider *This Story* For Your Next Film Project" series of posts a year ago, 2 suggestions we've made have been set up for development in Hollywood. Most recently, just 2 days ago, it was announced that author Tom Reiss' novel "The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo," has been optioned by Sony Pictures. It's almost as if our recommendations are being taken into consideration by those with the power to see them through, from script to screen. So I figured, as I did with The Black Count previously, and Jackie Ormes yesterday, I'll repost some of our other "Consider This..." pieces, hoping that maybe they will eventually be met with the same success that the other 2 are currently enjoying. Here's another recommendation which may have been missed last year...

He quickly got up and with eyes full of tears protested wildly:

'It's not me. It's you. It's your fault. You were ashamed of all the happiness we had together when as little heathens we roamed wild and free. You began to despise me. To prefer those with white skin, who read books and speak fancy French. You didn't realize it was yourself that you were despising, that you were repudiating. And in the end it was your ruin, because you can't lie to your own blood. You can't.'

Razyé, this novel's rebellious, vengeful, and machiavellic version of Heathcliff, tells a lovesick Cathy, the well-to-do daughter of a mulatto farmer and servant mother, who forsakes Razyé and marries Aymeric De Linsseuil, a rich White Creole planter.

Windward

Maryse Condé's Windward Heights is a beautiful and exotic novel, a passionate reimagining of a torrid liason between two star-crossed lovers of color, torn apart by class and racial oppression.

We’re all aware by now of Andrea Arnold’s latest screen adaptation of Emily Brontë’s classic novel. Arnold’s Wuthering Heights, set for theater release this spring, is the first - of what seems like zillion film adaptations - to reincarnate Heathcliff as a black man; some of us were rather pleasantly surprised at Arnold’s courage in giving the original tale this non-conventional twist. After all, Bronte’s 1848 novel described Heathcliff as “dark-skinned gypsy in aspect.”

Windward Heights, set in Havana, Cuba and Guadaloupe, explores the rich Caribbean cultures of these islands colonized by the Spaniards and the French at the turn of the century. Author Condé, a Guadaloupean who has lived in Guinea, Ghana and Senegal, intelligently explores the legacy of slavery and the complex dynamics between the rich White Creoles, the plantation system, interracial relationships, the servants (Black and Asian Indian - from India), mulattos, the bourgeous mentality, gender roles, African ancestry, Voodoo, Christianity and more.

Windward though, focuses on the experiences leading up to the emotional and spiritual bond between Razyé and Cathy, both African descendants, and the devastating consequences of their separation.

So, I can't help but wonder, perhaps fantasize of the possibilities of this novel ever making it to the big screen. Realistically, chances are slim. Certainly, it seems unlikely that an American film production company would touch a rather faithful adaptation of Windward with a 10 foot pole.

There are a few reasons why...

Razyé, the orphan rescued by Hubert Gagneur (Cathy's father) to live with Cathy and her brother Justin, is essentially damaged. After losing Cathy, the only person who has shown him true love and compassion in his life, he's scarred and full of rage. To avenge Cathy's rich white husband Aymeric, Razyé seduces his White sister and Cathy's sister-in-law, to the scorn of Aymeric and his mother, who by the way, has never been accepting of his marriage to Cathy because she's Black.

That's not it though. Razyé ends up physically and mentally abusing his White wife and mother of several children, who's in love with him; he also barely demonstrates fatherly love for his offspring. Oh, and he also hates God.

Oh yeah, his revenge for Cathy's white hubby, who's portrayed as a kind character to all races, doesn't end there. He joins a group of Black revolutionaries in the island, who are against worker exploitation and oppression, and sets out to burn all the White Creoles' plantations; his major motivation though, is to destroy Aymeric's property.

Razyé is a hard drinking, gambling, womanzing, aggressive, cruel, black-magic practicing anti-hero, but I still loved his character! You see, I couldn't help to be immersed by all his passion and anger. Underneath it all, Razyé is a broken soul, oppressed by his race and class, treated like scum throughout his whole life, but whose love for Cathy goes with him to the grave. Now isn't that romantic? :-)

It seems like I'm giving away a whole bunch of spoilers, but really this novel has many more elements and characters that go beyond this central story. Many chapters are told through the eyes of servants, who also tell their very interesting and personal stories. Also, the stories of Cathy's and Razyé's children are told into their adulthood.

There's really too many characters to consolidate into a feature film, if a somewhat faithful film adaptation were to be developed. There's so much to chew on though, especially when it comes to the main characters.

If you're interested in reading the novel, head over to Amazon, where it's on sale. While you're on there, check out the reviews will you? I'm definitely interested in the other works by Maryse Condé.

Have any of you read the novel? Would you like to see see an adaptation on the big screen? What are the possibilities? I don't think it has been optioned, not that I know of.

Filmmakers and production companies out there reading...any takers? :) Somebody out there please revolutionise the film industry and adapt this novel!!

Maryse Condé, Author of "Windward Heights"
Maryse Condé, Author of "Windward Heights"

This article is related to: Book To Film


Shadow & ActNewsletter