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Levar Burton Returns to Someone Else’s Roots


Levar Burton has announced that he will direct Initiation, the true story of an African
shaman. Burton, who first came to
prominence as Kunta Kinte in the 1977 television miniseries phenomenon Roots, served as host for 25 years of
the acclaimed PBS series Reading Rainbow
and played Geordi La Forge on the hit television show Star Trek: The Next Generation

The screenplay by Howard Besserman and Anthony Johnson is
based on Malidoma Patrice Some’s autobiographical account, Of Water and the Spirit. Some was kidnapped from his home in Burkina Faso by French Jesuits and
trained as a priest. He escaped 15 years
later and returned to his people, who were suspicious of the influence the
missionaries had on him. Some then
underwent a potentially deadly initiation into shamanism that firmly
reconnected him to his native culture. Alice Walker called the book “a shimmering ‘missing piece’ in the story
of the earth.”

The production is also “in need of a hard-working intern.”  Contact for more information.

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