Enter Rustin. Director George C. Wolfe puts a spotlight on one of the greatest activists and organizers in history with Emmy-winning actor Colman Domingo in the titular role.
Written by Julian Breece and Dustin Lance Black and produced by the Barack and Michelle Obama‘s production banner Higher Ground, Rustin follows the life of the legendary activist during one of the most significant eras in American history.
The film gives Rustin the opportunity to finally shine alongside civil rights giants like Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Ella Baker while also reflecting today’s social landscape when it comes to rights of those in the margins — specifically the queer people of color.
In a recent interview with GLAAD, Domingo talked about how Rustin speaks to the movement for equality in 2023. “I think [the film] says to hang on and get involved,” said Domingo. “Don’t yield. Don’t lay down. Look after each other. We know we’ve always been under attack and with as many advancements as we have, there’s always someone that wants to set us back.”
He continued, “We must band together and take care of each other. I think that’s the spirit of Rustin.”
Wolfe pointed out how Bayard is the “walking embodiment of ‘it needn’t look like you to be about you.'”
“It’s very important for groups to form their identity and to gain strength from each other, but it’s also very important that they connect to other people and invite other people into their journeys, battles, and wars,” Wolfe explained. “With the March on Washington, people came from all over and made this cause their own. I think that in addition to empowering ourselves, forming coalitions, there are allies everywhere. “Therefore the cause of one group’s oppression is your own and I think he’s a living embodiment of that.”
Rustin debuts on Netflix November 17.