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‘Get Out’ Channeled the Changing Zeitgeist in Exposing Racial Unease

Get Out,” a PGA film nominee and recipient of this year’s Stanley Kramer award, immediately struck a chord with critics and moviegoers when it debuted early last year.

Jordan Peele’s horror satire managed to capture the zeitgeist and puncture the notion of a post-racial society once and for all. His achievement is even more noteworthy given that he began writing “Get Out” during the Obama presidency, when views of race relations were far rosier than they would become during Donald Trump’s campaign and eventual presidency.

The movie deftly tackles racial unease between African-American and white communities: Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a photographer, heads with his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to visit her parents, who seemingly accept him despite the racial difference between the couple. It is only as the movie progresses that Chris discovers the true horror of their intentions.

Sean McKittrick, one of the producers on the film, first talked with Peele about the project almost four years ago, when the “Key & Peele” star pitched it to him over coffee. “It had been brewing inside Jordan much longer than that,” McKittrick says.

Halfway through writing “Get Out,” Peele approached his producers and told them he wanted to direct the movie, in what would be his first such venture and eventually earn him a DGA nomination. “The film has such a distinctive voice and point of view, I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing it,” McKittrick says.

While making “Get Out,” a not so funny thing happened: In between the time Peele wrote the movie and its release, “the world the film existed in changed,” McKittrick says. “Racism was hidden behind closed doors. It was hidden under rocks. And it all came out.”

As it eventually does in “Get Out.”

The critical and box-office hit has grossed more than $254 million worldwide for Universal, and was produced by Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Peele, in addition to McKittrick. It has been nominated for a slew of awards beyond the PGA kudos.

The Stanley Kramer award, established in 2002, honors productions and producers for illuminating and raising public awareness of important social issues.

Kramer was known for directing and producing movies such as “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” which the filmmakers frequently invoked while making “Get Out.”

“We’re incredibly honored,” McKittrick says, calling it a “grand irony” to be honored with the award named for “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’s” director-producer.

Previous Kramer award winners include “Loving” last year, “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Hotel Rwanda” and “Precious.”

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