'Ante' Racism

WATCH: ‘Antebellum’ directors Gerard Bush & Christopher Renz on how a racist nightmare became a film

Directors Gerard Bush & Christopher Renz on set

Some directors dream of making movies. For Gerard Bush & Christopher Renz, dreams actually become movies.

The openly-gay writer/directors have spent their careers coupled together, first gaining attention with their documentary Canvases of Courage in 2016. The pair then focused on short films that explore issues of sexuality, race and artistic ambition, including Shame, 17 Seventeen, Versus and Against the Wall. Now the pair embark on their most ambitious project to date: the horror thriller Antebellum.

Related: WATCH: Janelle Monae dishes on her queerness, and on her new series ‘Homecoming’

As written and directed by Bush & Renz, Antebellum casts Janelle Monáe as Veronica, a successful working mom with a strange connection to Eden (also played by Monae), a woman held captive by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. As Veronica embarks for a work conference with friends, a sinister plot is set in motion that threatens the life of Veronica, and everyone she holds dear. Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, and Gabourey Sidibe also star.

We snagged time with Bush & Renz to talk about the genesis of the film, it’s terrifying themes, and what they mean in our current political landscape. Antebellum arrived on streaming services September 18.


Video edited by David Beerman