problem of the hero

The Problem of the Hero

Directed by Shaun Dozier
U.S. | 2022 | Narrative
85 minutes

In June and July of 1940, Richard Wright joined Paul Green at his office in Chapel Hill, NC, to dramatize “Native Son” for the Broadway stage. They ended their initial work together as friends, and shared (according to both of their recollections) a profound admiration for the other person. Wright traveled back to New York where, under the influence of John Houseman and Orson Welles, he restored his own ending to the play where Green had made changes before the play’s opening the following year. The film is an interpretation of the conflict that ensued. March, 1941, the St. James Theatre in New York. On the eve of opening night, a difference of opinion over a single page of the script threatens an impasse between these two literary giants of the 20th Century. As rehearsal continues around Wright and Green, led by the mercurial Welles, the ensuing argument — delving into race, class, politics, and personal story – seems destined to dissolve the writers’ friendship.