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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #146: Andrew Solomon

Andrew Solomon and Howard Solomon. Photo © Participant Media.

By Lauren Wissot

“How do we decide what to cure and what to celebrate?” asked Andrew Solomon, rhetorically, during the New Yorker Festival. The lecturer and author of Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity is referring to the transformation of the “illness” of homosexuality into the “identity” of gayness in a telling scene from Rachel Dretzin’s recent documentary adaptation. …

The Rumpus: I think around thirty filmmakers approached you when the book came out. What convinced you that Rachel was “the one”?

Andrew Solomon: I was looking for two qualities: someone who understood the book deeply and truly, and someone who knew how to make a film, get funding, get it produced, and usher it out into the world. Rachel has been wonderful on both fronts.

She had an additional quality I didn’t know enough to look for when the film was first contemplated: she understands the difference of medium and can make a film that draws from the book but is in its own, separate language.

I have no regrets about my decision. The film contains many of the book’s moral conundrums, and ably represents its impassioned narrative of love and acceptance.

(To read the full interview, please visit The Rumpus.)