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The Filmmakers Reviving 'Roots' Discuss Recreating the Iconic Series for a Modern Audience

VICE sits down with Mario Van Peebles, Mandela Van Peebles, and Mark Wolper to talk about their new four-part miniseries that retells the classic story of Kunta Kinte.
May 30, 2016, 4:29pm

Shortly after Alex Haley wrote Roots: The Saga of the American Family—a novel that follows the life and descendants of Kunta Kinte, a young man taken from his home in Gambia and sold into the American slave trade—it was made into a hugely popular eight-part miniseries that's considered an important piece of cinematic history.

Now, almost forty years later, director Mario Van Peebles, his son, actor Mandela Van Peebles, and producer Mark Wolper, have worked to bring the story back to TV for a modern audience, creating a new miniseries shot from four different perspectives.

On this episode of VICE Talks Film, Jaimie Sanchez talks with the filmmakers about the responsibility of recreating the iconic 1977 series, the challenge of revisiting the very difficult issue of slavery, and how the series' themes are still relevant in today's political landscape.

Roots airs Monday night at 9 PM EST on the History Channel.