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‘Candyman’ Director Nia DaCosta’s Chilling, Shadow Puppet Short Film Is a Parable of Violence Against Black Lives (Video)

The horror feature produced by Jordan Peele opens in theaters Sept. 25

The director of the upcoming horror film “Candyman” Nia DaCosta on Wednesday released a chilling and beautiful short film that uses some haunting shadow puppet imagery to tell the Candyman legend.

While not a specific trailer or teaser for her upcoming feature that’s produced by Jordan Peele, DaCosta’s “Candyman” short alludes to the hook-wielding character and shows instances of violence against black people that we’ve seen time and again throughout our recent American history.

“CANDYMAN, at the intersection of white violence and black pain, is about unwilling martyrs. The people they were, the symbols we turn them into, the monsters we are told they must have been,” DaCosta said in a tweet along with the video.

The short film first depicts a black man chased and beaten by cops, another young man who is met by an angry lynch mob and a young black boy who is sentenced to the electric chair. It concludes with a painter doing a portrait of a woman who is then tortured and given a hook for a hand by his captors.

DaCosta’s short resembles the silhouette work of artist and filmmaker Kara Walker, who often explores issues of race, gender and violence in her work.

The “Candyman” feature is an update on the 1992 film “Candyman” and the short story “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker. Peele and DaCosta co-wrote the new film with Win Rosenfeld, framing the story of the supernatural killer with a hook for a hand as a demon that has haunted Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighborhood for decades but has now been unleashed as the towers have been torn down and the neighborhood has been gentrified.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Teyonah Parris star in the movie from Universal Pictures and MGM, and Universal is releasing the movie in theaters on Sept. 25, pushed back from its original release on June 12 due to the coronavirus.

Check out DaCosta’s film below:

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