I’ve posted about my family’s dear friend Tony Kushner many times at this blog. Tony, as many of you probably know, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (Angels in America), Oscar-nominated screenwriter (Munich), stage director, and activist. My dad, Jim, has (so far) written three books about him, the most recent being Understanding Tony Kushner.
As I’ve said before… Al Pacino has said, “Everybody loves Tony Kushner.” It’s not just because he’s such a gargantuan talent, but it’s also because on top of being a super-genius he’s one of the kindest people you could ever want to meet. As a chaplain, I can honestly say that I’ve learned a lot about how to attend to others from watching Tony — he listens to every word you say with his whole being, and he exhibits a rare and very real curiosity about people and the world around him. His senses of justice and compassion (which are on full display in his written work) have also done much wake me up to my responsibility as a human being. He’s really quite a guy.
One of my most cherished possessions is a note that he wrote to me after my acceptance to Naropa University. We had seen him shortly after I had made my application, and, when we all said goodbye to each other, he jokingly said, “I want to be the first to know when you get the news!” But I seriously did tell him first, and his warm, encouraging response moves me tremendously to this day.
Well, just when I thought I couldn’t be any prouder of Tony and to know him, the trailer for his latest film project with Steven Spielberg, Lincoln, has arrived. I think it looks extraordinary, and, since I know Tony has been working on this screenplay for many years now, I’m happy for him that it has finally come to full fruition. Take a look below.
I hope also that you’ll go see the film when it comes out this November, and (if you’re so moved) that you join the social action campaign inspired by it at www.takepart.com/lincoln.