Coming Distractions: The trailer for the Roots remake is steeped in history and tragedy

The trailer for the History Channel’s Roots remake is here to tease the retelling of Alex Haley’s story of Kunta Kinte and his descendants whose lives were devastated time and again by slavery, but still found a way to establish and hand down family traditions—and pride—through generations.

Mark Wolper has taken over for his father, David Wolper, as executive producer on the series, which stars newcomer Malachi Kirby as Kunta, whose abduction is premeditated by some kind of family rival in his native land. We see Kunta survive the harsh, transatlantic journey only to be enslaved once he hits American shores. He marries Belle (Emayatzy Corinealdi) and fathers Kizzy (Anika Noni Rose), who, as a young, literate woman, is sold off to Thomas Lea (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). The trailer then takes us through the subsequent generations and chapters, including the life of Kizzy’s son Chicken …

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