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Paper Boy by (Precious) Lee Daniels deals with social injustice

For his third full-length movie, the director of the critically-acclaimed Precious (2008) has taken his inspiration from a psychological thriller written by journalist Pete Dexter. The Paperboy is
above all a reflection on human behaviour.

Before US director Lee Daniels finally brought it to the screen, the script of The Paperboy sat for a long time on Pedro Almodóvar’s bedside table. After the Spanish film-maker dropped the project, Lee Daniels picked it up and set out to rewrite the subject. "I had to take ownership of the story", he says.

The film follows the investigations of two Miami Times journalists charged with looking into
the case of a jailed alligator hunter who risks execution even though there is no conclusive evidence against him. After Precious, a portrait of an illiterate black teenager from Harlem struggling to make his way in the world, Lee Daniels again devotes himself to the theme of social injustice, and more especially to an issue that provokes fierce debate within American society: capital punishment.

The film, shot in New Orleans, is a reflection on human behaviour in the face of prejudice. To support his case, Lee Daniels forces his characters to confront their own obsessions. "I like to make movies that push us to explore unknown territory. The Paperboy looks at a time, a place, situations and people in a way that is unprecedented on the big screen", adds Lee Daniels.

The American director says that in his screenplay he tried to be especially faithful to the passages that moved him when he read the novel. Certain scenes of torture still haunt him. "They are among the reasons that drove me to make this film", he explains. The Paperboy also marks the return of Australian actress Nicole Kidman to Cannes.



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