(Los Angeles) Oprah Winfrey recounted how the book The Color Purple helped her cope with the trauma of rape she suffered at age 14 at the Los Angeles premiere of a new film adaptation of the successful book.
The new adaptation, a musical film, is the second big screen version of Alice Walker’s book, following the 1985 film directed by Steven Spielberg, in which the American television superstar made her film debut.
The color purple evokes the trials, suffering, and particularly sexual assault that many black women in the American South faced at the beginning of the 20th century.
“The Color Purple was a blessing in my life from the first time I read it, because until then I didn’t know there were words for what happened to me,” Oprah Winfrey said Thursday at a screening in Los Angeles.
“I was raped when I was 14 and I had a child, who then died, and I didn’t have the words to explain it,” explained the woman who is today often considered the one of the most powerful women in the world.
The Color Purple tells the story of Celie, a young black girl from rural Georgia, in the southern United States, who is raped by her father and forced to abandon two children.
Celie is then forced to marry an abusive husband, but finds strength in her interactions with other women facing their own traumas.
Oprah Winfrey recounted how, upon learning in the 1980s that Steven Spielberg was going to direct the film adaptation, she “literally went down on my knees and prayed every night for the opportunity to be in the film.”
Her role as Sofia earned her an Oscar nomination. The film “changed my life,” she told the audience in Los Angeles on Thursday.
The new adaptation, produced by Blitz Bazawule in the form of a musical, adopts a lighter, often joyful and optimistic tone.
Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey are both among the producers of the Warner Bros. film which is due to hit theaters in the United States on Christmas Day.