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Arts & Life

"Sorry to Bother You" director talks Michigan ties, "white voice," and telemarketing

Boots Riley on the set of Sorry to Bother You
Courtesy of Annapurna Pictures
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Boots Riley said one of the key themes in the film is that, "There is a way for us to change things." He sees that same theme in Detroit.

Sorry to Bother You is billed as a sci-fi comedy, and is playing in theaters nationwide after debuting at Sundance Film Festival.

It's about the story of a young black telemarketer from Oakland, California named Cassius Green, played by Lakeith Stanfield. An older co-worker, played by Danny Glover, offers advice that helps Cassius climb the ladder to telemarketing success by using his "white voice."

The film is the directorial debut of Boots Riley, who is from Oakland, California, but still has significant Michigan ties. He joined Stateside to tell us about the film and his connections to the state.

Listen above to hear about the character named Detroit, what the film says about race relations, and how the movie can be "wild and fun and hilarious" but still speak to serious topics.

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