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THE HUMAN STAIN

About The Production
Based on Pulitzer Prize-winning author Philip Roth's best-selling novel, THE HUMAN STAIN is the story of Coleman Silk, who throughout his life has been a master of deception and self-reinvention. As a promising college student (Wentworth Miller), Coleman's first love, Steena (Jacinda Barrett), is shattered by a secret. Years later, as an esteemed professor (Anthony Hopkins), his career is ruined by false accusations. Now, as he embarks on a scandalous affair with the mysterious Faunia (Nicole Kidman), Coleman experiences an erotic reawakening that carries him back to the past. But with his resurrected passion also comes the threat of danger from Faunia's ex-husband (Ed Harris), and Coleman is faced with the imperative to expose his true identity before it is too late. 

Set in 1998, when the nation was immersed in the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, THE HUMAN STAIN is a journey of ambition, individualism, deceit and the yearning for love, which probes the roles of identity and independence, race and prejudice, brutality and tenderness in the shaping of the American psyche. 

At its core, THE HUMAN STAIN is about one man's bold attempt to reinvent himself, to escape history's turmoil, only to have his carefully contrived life unraveled by sexual longing and the need to share the truth with someone. Since his youth in the intolerant 1940s, Coleman Silk, who is an extremely light-skinned African American (his mother calls him "white as snow”), has successfully passed himself off as white, as others have throughout American history, in order to find more personal liberty. (Roth writes: "All he'd ever wanted from earliest childhood on, was to be free, not black, not even white – just on his own and free.”) 

But he has done so at a terrible cost. With Faunia, his last and most perilous love, Coleman has a final shot at redemption – as he at last discovers, under threat, the intimacy to share with one person his secret. 

THE HUMAN STAIN stars Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman, as well as Oscar nominees Gary Sinise and Ed Harris. A Lakeshore Entertainment production, the film is directed by multiple Academy Award-winner Robert Benton ("Kramer vs. Kramer,” "Nobody's Fool,” "Places in the Heart”) and produced by Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi from a script by Nicholas Meyer. Also starring are Wentworth Miller, Jacinda Barrett, Harry Lennix and Obie Award-winner, Tony Award nominee and Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright and performance artist Anna Deavere Smith. The executive producers are Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Ron Bozman, Andre Lamal, Rick Schwartz, Steve Hutensky, Michael Ohoven, Eberhard Kayser. 

In 2000, Philip Roth published the final part of his trilogy about the turmoil of postwar America, which began with American Pastoral (which won the Pulitzer Prize) and I Married a Communist. With his third installment, The Human Stain, Roth unleashed both critical acclaim and controversy (and won the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award). Set during the Presidential impeachment hearings of the 1990s, The Human Stain exposes the cloaked life of Coleman Silk, a man Roth describes as "ensnared by a history he hadn't quite counted on.” Silk appears to be an eminent Jewish intellectual and devoted husband. But the truth about Coleman Silk is far more complex than anyone knows. Among other things, Silk has been hiding behind a thick veil of lies – having obliterated his origins in an African-American family in order to find a freedom he thought would be impossible otherwise. His secrets persist until he meets Faunia, an equally reticent cleaning woman half his age, who awakens something in him both sexually and emotionally that leads inexorably to a confrontation with his past. 

The book's title emerges from the idea that no matter what a person does, a human being leaves a mark (whether by rage, desire, ambition or accident) on the world, a k

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