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Danny Glover Talks His Role As 'Shinishi' In 'Tula, The Revolt' (Feature On Slave Uprising In Curacao)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
October 19, 2012 10:09 AM
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As noted earlier last week, Danny Glover will lend his talents, joining the starring cast of the slave uprising project Tula, The Revolt, from Dutch director Jeroen Leinders, which is based on a true story about a slave uprising on the island of Curacao, a Dutch colony in 1795, and the man called Tula, who stood up against his oppressors, and led the revolt that would last about a month.

The cast members were finally announced last week at a press conference in Willemstad, and Glover led the pack of international actors that also includes Obi AbiliJeroen Krabbé,Derek de LintHenriette Tol and Barry Hay.

Obi Abili (a UK actor of Nigerian decent) will star in the film as the titular Tula, while Glover will play Shinishi, a role that the producers are calling a very important one.

Online research on Shinishi revealed nothing, so at the time of that last post, I wasn't equipped to comment on who exactly that was, and how he contributed to the revolt.

But thankfully, I came across this video interview with Glover talking about Shinishi, answering the questions I had (some of them anyway) about the character. You can watch the video below, in which he goes beyond his character, and relates some of his own personal experience with regards to the film's narrative.

The filmmakers hope to complete the film to release in 2013, a year that marks the 150th anniversary since slavery was finally abolished on the island of Curacao (1863).

As of our last report, they were aiming for an October start date.

Director Jeroen Leinders (whose background is heavy in documentary filmmaking) is said to have spent much of his youth on Curacao, and has been working there for the past 7 years. When he learned of the historical account of the slave revolt, he pursued the idea of turning it into a film; and here we are.

The inspiration for the rebellion was that Tula and an initial group of 40 to 50 slaves requested 3 things of their overseers: an end to collective punishment, an end to working on Sundays, and lastly, the right to buy their wears from anywhere they wanted, not just from their masters, which was the rule of the day.

Apparently, they didn't get what they asked for, and thus, Tula organized a group of fellow slaves who resolved not to work as slaves anymore. The rebellion, which actually began peacefully and was meant to be 'won with words, rather than arms," lasted for more than a month. But, unfortunately, it didn't end as peacefully as it begun, because the colonial forces crushed the revolt, Tula was captured, tortured, convicted and executed.

This film will tell his story - a man who's revered in Curacao today. The producers are calling it an action-drama.

As I said before, kudos to Glover for lending his name and talents to this project - especially as his own slave revolt film (his long-anticipated Toussaint L'Ouverture project) remains in limbo.

Watch the interview below in which he talks about his character, and more.

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1 Comment

  • the black police | October 19, 2012 10:53 AMReply

    Yay, a slave role!

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