| Flicks

Toni Morrison documentary opens this week

Posted on 05 July 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

As I write this week’s edition of Flicks, Mom & I have been traveling through Florida, Georgia and Alabama for a family reunion. Once north of Orlando, I was pleased to discover that a sense of “Southern Hospitality” has not been lost among the people there.

There were plenty of stories to be told. It seemed that each waiter/waitress at the restaurants had a story to tell about their community or family. At our family reunion, we kept the memory alive of our dearly departed. My brother’s research through Ancestry.com revealed family connections to the Revolutionary War and Abraham Lincoln. As the United States of America celebrates 243 years of freedom, we are reminded that this nation truly represents Unity through Diversity.

What was noteworthy was the lack of movie theaters during my recent odyssey. I’ve always read the marquees to see what was playing on the local big screen. There was no sign of Avengers: Endgame or Toy Story 4 or Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

It seems appropriate that the documentaryToni Morrison:The Pieces I Amopens this 4th of July weekend. Born in Ohio in 1931, Toni Morrison is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is the author of The Bluest Eye, The Song of Solomon and Beloved, the latter of which caught the interest of Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah produced and starred in a movie version of Beloved which co-starred Danny Glover and Thandie Newton. A ghost story of sorts, Beloved focuses on a former slave who is haunted by a poltergeist who may be her dearly deceased daughter. Despite heavy marketing hype, Beloved bombed at the box office 21 years ago.  

As a documentary, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, overlooks this financial failure, but Oprah does share some anecdotes about meeting and working with the author. As a writer, there is much to learn from this documentary. For instance, while staring out at a pier by a lake, Morrison had a vision of a young woman crawling out of the dock. Morrison questioned the vision and wanted to know what happened next. This image was the birth of Beloved.

Party hearty this 4th of July weekend!

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