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Madonna Will Direct Film Adaptation of 'Ade: A Love Story' Set in Kenya

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by Vanessa Martinez
March 25, 2014 2:38 PM
10 Comments
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Here are some very interesting news...

Madonna is set to direct a screen adaptation of the novel Ade: A Love Story, based on real life events of its author Rebecca Walker. In the novel,  a female 19-year old American student who - black, white, and Jewish like the author herself - sets out to travel with her friend to Egypt and ends in Lamu, off the coast of Kenya. There, she falls in love with a handsome Swahili muslim man named Ade, who names her Farida. Conflict arises when the couple, who plans to live and marry in Kenya, are caught in the midst of a civil war that threatens their union.


The film adaptation of Ade will be produced by Bruce Cohen, whom you might recall shared a Best Picture Oscar for the the film American Beauty, and also produced the films Milk with Sean Penn and the acclaimed hit Silver Linings Playbook. Cohen will produce through his Bruce Cohen Productions company with Jessica Leventhal, his director of development, and author Rebecca Walker.

This won't be the first time Madonna is behind the camera. She directed the 2011 feature film W.E., about the relationship between British King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. 

The novel is available on Amazon. Here's more about the book from the hardcover edition:

In this stunning debut novella, Rebecca Walker turns her attention to the power of love and the limitations of the human heart. When Farida, a sophisticated college student, falls in love with Adé, a young Swahili man living on an idyllic island off the coast of Kenya, the two plan to marry and envision a simple life together—free of worldly possessions and concerns. But when Farida contracts malaria and finds herself caught in the middle of a civil war, reality crashes in around them. The lovers’ solitude is interrupted by a world in the throes of massive upheaval that threatens to tear them apart, along with all they cherish.

"In a fiction debut that is as much a novel of self-discovery and identity as a lucent love story, memoirist Walker brings her background and literary strengths to bear. When the 19-year-old unnamed narrator and her Yale friend, Miriam, start their long travels, arriving in Africa becomes life-changing. In Egypt, the narrator feels she belongs for the first time, with her copper-colored skin and brown, almond-shaped eyes. Then in Lamu, an island off the coast of Kenya, she falls in love with handsome Swahili Muslim Adé, who gives her the Arabic name Farida. As Miriam resumes traveling alone, Farida and Adé live together simply and make plans to marry. But Swahili custom requires face-to-face meetings to ask for parental approval, and political realities strike previously entitled American Farida for the first time. Walker knows whereof she writes. Farida, like the author (daughter of novelist Alice Walker and lawyer Mel Levanthal), is black, white, and Jewish and a child of divorce, and Walker uses this knowledge to good effect here. A brief, sensuous love story grounded in painful reality." --Michele Leber --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Has any of you read the novel?


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10 Comments

  • Justine Gitahi | July 2, 2014 5:00 AMReply

    Hi I am with Ginger Ink Films EPZ Ltd we are a service production company in Kenya. How can we be of help here? we have co-produced 4 feature films and hundreds of TVCs..you can contact us on above email. Thanks!!!

  • Mark V | March 26, 2014 2:08 PMReply

    Another script sacrificed on the altar of Madonna's non-stop quest to be "deep". Madge, sweetie, put the cones on your boobs and dance around for us. Release another "Sex" book. But understand why we pay attention to you.

  • Evelyn | March 26, 2014 1:00 PMReply

    Wish anyone BUT Madonna were directing this. Ugh. FAIL.

  • jess | March 25, 2014 11:42 PMReply

    Read most of it a few weeks ago. I say "most of it" because it wasn't very well written--full of girly melodrama--and I just skipped to the end because I just couldn't deal with the protaganist's airheaded inner voice and ceding her agency and safety to a guy she knew for two seconds. It felt like a short story that was developed at a writer's workshop that had just enough inner monologues and scenery descriptions added afterward to qualify as a book. Also, the book was two seconds long, so the screenwriter will definitely have some work to do re fleshing out the romance.

  • jess | March 26, 2014 11:04 PM

    @EM: Good info! The opening dedication and parallels with her background made me wonder if it had origins in a true story. Also, if they proceed with the story as written, they will probably create some religious and feminist controversy. But that's probably what Madonna had in mind all along.

  • Em | March 26, 2014 1:05 PM

    This story is actually nonfiction and, for some reason, being sold as fiction. This I know for a fact. Didn't care much for it when it was presented in workshop (nice observation.) And since Madonna's last film flopped, I have little interest in seeing this screen adaptation. I feel like taking a story that's largely based on actual events, inventing a few details, and then passing it off as totally "fiction" is a cop-out on the author's part. But when you're born into fame and privilege I guess you don't have to work as hard.

  • G | March 25, 2014 11:34 PMReply

    I'm sure Madonna has a hard-on for Walker's mother and is simply trying
    to get to her through this project. ...That and she's trying to redeem herself
    after that embarrassing N-word gaff with her son on twitter.

  • Carl | March 26, 2014 12:17 AM

    Please, Madonna is too rich and her fan base is WAY too large to give a damn.

  • jfc | March 25, 2014 10:22 PMReply

    She's directing again....oh my.

  • NinaG | March 25, 2014 7:22 PMReply

    The reviews of the novella were pretty "meh" so this is kind of surprising. Also this hasn't been out very long. I wonder...

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