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South’s painful past comes back to haunt in ‘Antebellum’

MIAMI – The South’s painful past comes back to haunt moviegoers in the new horror thriller “Antebellum.”

The movie is the brain child of Miami filmmakers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, who left their successful South Florida public relations firm in 2017 to make their Hollywood dreams come true.

“When we got here, it was within six months that we had a bidding war for our first picture, which is ‘Antebellum,’” Bush said.

The story came to Bush in a nightmare.

“It felt ancestral, it felt other worldly,” he said.

The movie has been brewing for years.

The Wonder Team first made their mark producing videos for luxury brands like Moët et Chandon, and then caught Hollywood’s attention by writing and directing social justice-based shorts for Amnetsy International and Harry Belafonte.

“I no longer wanted to sell champagne, that it was too urgent the issues that were happening in the world, especially after Trayvon Martin was murdered and that’s when Christopher and I just went for it,” Bush said.

And they did. “Antebellum” is their first feature, a horror film not just on its surface, but at its core.

The film resonates loudly with the social challenges our nation is facing right now in confronting its fractured past.

“Until we do that and resolve it and finally heal it, then we’re going to continue to repeat finding ourselves haunted by the past in our present,” Bush said.

The movie is helmed by Janelle Monae, with star turns by Gabourey Sidabe and Jena Malone.

With nods to Gone with the Wind, Bush and Renz wanted to set the record straight and show the Antebellum South how it really was, making moviegoers not just jump out of their seats, but also think.

“It’s necessary, it’s for this exact moment,” Renz said. “You’ll want to talk about it afterward.”


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