'Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am' Presents A Personal Perspective Of A Miraculous Life [Sundance Review]
If we do not tell our own stories, someone else will paint a picture of our lives and call it the truth. Prolific writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Toni Morrison has been writing her story and chronicling the lives of Black folk for nearly 50 years. Though her work is world renowned, her personal history and life’s journey has remained somewhat mysterious.
In director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders intimate documentary Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, the audience is taken on a journey through the Beloved author’s life, from her humble beginnings in Lorain, Ohio, to her days as an editor at Random House and then as a lecturer at Princeton University. Using Morrison’s own recollections along with anecdotes from her childhood and earlier years, the author and Greenfield-Sanders construct a picture of a woman who single-handedly reshaped literature not just for Black folks, but for lovers of language and the written word across the globe.
Toni Morrison’s life did not begin with her birth in 1931. Instead, The Pieces I Am stretches backward —two generations before Morrison — to her grandfather, who would proudly boast to anyone listening that he’d read the Bible from cover to cover five times. Literacy has never been a given for members of the Black community which is why for Morrison — who learned to read at age three— books have always been somewhat of a miracle.
Continue reading at Shadow and Act.