The Drama of Miscegenation

genetWhen Jean Genet’s play,”The Balcony,” premiered in London in 1957, he was two years away from writing “The Blacks,” which dealt with negritude, among other issues. By the time Joseph Strick directed “The Balcony,” for the screen, in 1962, Genet’s work was not only fashionable, but necessary. It is impossible not to feel that Strick had seen or at least read “The Blacks,” by the time he cast Ruby Dee in the role of The Thief; she and her scene partner, Peter Brocco (the Judge) are acting out the viewer’s drama about miscegenation, but in reverse. Pimps down, hos up–in the spectator’s imagination.