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‘I trust the fear’: Writer takes a different tack on series about mysterious massacre in 1690s New France

Trepagny, played by David Thewlis, encounters Thom and Renardette in the woods during a scene from “Barkskins.” (National Geographic/Peter H. Stranks)

Elwood Reid is always up for a challenge.

When he took on adapting Annie Proulx’s 2016 novel “Barkskins,” he knew he had to think outside the box.

“I would have a page and a half to make an impression on the viewer,” Reid says. “It would be the first time viewers have seen these characters. My job as the writer was to bring them to life.”

“Barkskins” examines the mysterious massacre of settlers in the vast and unforgiving wilds of 1690s New France that threatens to throw the region into all-out war.

It tells the story of two immigrants to New France, René Sel and Charles Duquet, and of their descendants and spans over 300 years and witnesses the deforestation of the New World from the arrival of Europeans into the contemporary era.

The series begins airing at 7 p.m. Monday, May 25, on National Geographic.

I caught up with Reid about his process with the project.

“As I’ve gotten older, I trust the process,” he says. “I trust the fear, writer’s block, and eventually I’ll get through it.”

Reid aimed to create a simple, dark look for the series. To read more, see Page 15.

The limited series is one of a few new shows available to watch from home.

Inside this week’s issue, there are reviews for TNT’s latest series, “Snowpiercer,” and the video-on-demand animated film “Scoob!.” Those reviews are on Pages 4 and 6, respectively.

This weekend is also Memorial Day weekend, and it’s an opportunity to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

On Page 8, I talk to the director of “On This Hallowed Ground: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Born From Tragedy.” The documentary will air at 10 p.m. Sunday, May 24 and re-air at 8 p.m. Monday, May 25, on New Mexico PBS.

The documentary chronicles the journey to build the Peace and Brotherhood Chapel, now called the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, in Angel Fire.

Life is beginning to get back to some level of normalcy for some. I’d like to thank you for turning to Venue and the Albuquerque Journal for your news.


Adrian Gomez

Venue editor

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