The Black Nativity, the season’s newest holiday film, boldly displays the true meaning of faith and forgiveness. The musically delightful drama is a modern-day retelling of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes’ 1961 play “The Birth of Christ.”
The Black Nativity, which released Wednesday nationwide, is set in the streets of Harlem, N.Y. The film centers on Langston (played by singer Jacob Latimore) who is sent to live with his estranged grandparents for the holidays. His mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson), has not talked with her parents in 15 years, but was forced to send her son to live with them after she fell on hard financial times.
Langston’s grandfather, the Rev. Cornell Cobbs (played by Forest Whitaker), has kept a shameful secret that he has been trying to overcome for years. As the film unfolds, you understand that this secret has caused his daughter, Niama, to move to Baltimore and rob Langston the opportunity to know his extended family.
Every year Langston’s grandfather and grandmother (played by Angela Bassett), hold a church musical about the nativity story at the church they pastor. This section of the movie can soften even the hardest heart as the actors including Tyrese, Mary J. Blige and Hudson paint a gorgeous picture of Christ’s birth and message of forgiveness with their colorful, rich vocals.
Throughout the film, Black Nativity beautifully weaves together themes of faith, family and forgiveness. Executive producer T.D. Jakes said it was important that honest, relatable stories of faith be brought to the big screen.
“The greatest star in this film is God because He’s the one who ultimately pulls all of the pieces together,” The Potter's House senior pastor said. “I think people who have ever seen God pull you out of the fire … almost every person has said at one time. ‘Lord if you just get me out of this. I will never do it again. You will see that in this story.”
From the singing to the dialogue, Christ is openly talked about and is even proclaimed in this family-friendly holiday flick.
Click below to watch Charisma interview Black Nativity producer T.D. Jakes and cast members Tyrese Gibson, Jacob Latimore, Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett.