In Her ‘Ex-Factor’ Interview, Filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood Discusses Lauryn Hill

In Her ‘Ex-Factor’ Interview, Filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood Discusses Lauryn Hill (1)

When Gina Prince-Bythewood wants inspiration for her newest action-drama “The Woman King,” she turns to Lauryn Hill’s Grammy-winning song “Ex-Factor.”

This song stands out among the many subjects Lauryn Hill covered in her ground-breaking 1998 album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” such as parenthood, the conflict within her former hip-hop group the Fugees, nostalgia, love, heartbreak, and God.

Prince-Bythewood uses the song as background music when she wants to focus on her writing.

My ultimate ambition as an artist is to tell a story that, like that song, will bring people to tears—possibly in the form of a film. Writing a love story is my attempt to evoke in you the same emotions that song does.

In Her ‘Ex-Factor’ Interview, Filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood Discusses Lauryn Hill

You may infer a lot from the title alone. There is a tremendous amount of meaning in the lyrics. However, it’s her singing that really conveys the sense that she is going through the things she sings about.

To open up to an audience and let us inside her life at such a private and vulnerable time requires a great deal of bravery.

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Of sure, I see a lot of reflections of myself in the characters I play in the movies I make as an artist. My favourite aspect of my job is it. A cathartic release from emotional pain can be found through writing or directing a movie.

However, as a vocalist, you are unable to conceal yourself. In the imaginary heroes of my stories, I have a nice place to hide. You can’t in your line of business because all that is involved is you and a microphone.

I sincerely value everything she accomplished and provided for us. The song must have been played a thousand times for a thousand different reasons by a thousand distinct people.

When I want to be in the mood to write about something intense, the song is always on my writing playlist.

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