Toni Morrison: The Pieces that I Am
The newest documentary about Toni Morrison from Magnolia Pictures
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am offers an artful and intimate meditation on the life and works of the acclaimed novelist. From her childhood in the steel town of Lorain, Ohio to ‘70s-era book tours with Muhammad Ali, from the front lines with Angela Davis to her own riverfront writing room, Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, America, history and the human condition as seen through the prism of her own literature. Inspired to write because no one took a “little black girl” seriously, Morrison reflects on her lifelong deconstruction of the master narrative. Woven together with a rich collection of art, history, literature and personality, the film includes discussions about her many critically acclaimed works, including novels “The Bluest Eye,” “Sula” and “Song of Solomon,” her role as an editor of iconic African-American literature and her time teaching at Princeton University.
America to Me from Kartemquin Films
Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) examines racial, economic and class issues in contemporary American education in the ten-part unscripted documentary series America to Me. Poignant and funny, epic and intimate, America to Me spends an academic year at Chicagoland's elite Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF), allowing its students, families, faculty and administration to tell stories of the pressures and challenges teens face today in their own words.
The Fits from Oscilloscope Laboratories
Toni trains as a boxer with her brother at a community center in Cincinnati’s West End, but becomes fascinated by the dance team that also practices there. Enamored by their strength and confidence, Toni eventually joins the group, eagerly absorbing routines, mastering drills, and even piercing her own ears to fit in. As she discovers the joys of dance and of female camaraderie, she grapples with her individual identity amid her newly defined social sphere.
Shortly after Toni joins the team, the captain faints during practice. By the end of the week, most of the girls on the team suffer from episodes of fainting, swooning, moaning, and shaking in a seemingly uncontrollable catharsis. Soon, however, the girls on the team embrace these mysterious spasms, transforming them into a rite of passage. Toni fears “the fits” but is equally afraid of losing her place just as she’s found her footing. Caught between her need for control and her desire for acceptance, Toni must decide how far she will go to embody her new ideals.
Step from Fox Searchlight
STEP is the true-life story of a girls’ high-school step team set against the background of the heart of Baltimore. These young women learn to laugh, love and thrive – on and off the stage – even when the world seems to work against them. Empowered by their teachers, teammates, counselors, coaches and families, they chase their ultimate dreams: to win a step championship and to be accepted into college.
This all female school is reshaping the futures of its students’ lives by making it their goal to have every member of their senior class accepted to and graduate from college, many of whom will be the first in their family to do so. Deeply insightful and emotionally inspiring, STEP embodies the true meaning of sisterhood through a story of courageous young women worth cheering for. Directed by: Amanda Lipitz
The 63 Boycott from Kartemquin Films
In 1963, 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest racial segregation. '63 Boycott connects the forgotten story of one of the largest Northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education, and youth activism.
And a final bit of wisdom from Flossie Lewis on Getting Old:
Flossie Lewis says she's 91 years old and badly crippled. But just because her body is starting to go doesn't mean her personality or character should. Taking walks, watching politics and writing a little bit of light verse help keep Lewis as optimistic now as she was at 15. Lewis gives her Brief But Spectacular take on growing old with grace.