Park City Film screening pieces together the late Nobel Prize recipient Toni Morrison
Park City Film and the Park City Museum will help local film lovers put together the puzzle known as the late Nobel Prize in Literature recipient Toni Morrison.
The partnership will present Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ documentary, “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” rated PG, in a free virtual cinema screening on Thursday, May 14. The screening is made possible by a grant from the Park City Community Foundation.
“You have to register to watch the film, and you will get a link via email so you can watch the film on May 14,” said Katharine Wang, Park City Film executive director. “You will have a five-hour window to do that on your own schedule.”
In addition, those who register for the virtual-cinema screening will get to participate in a virtual Q&A session with poet, educator and community activist Glenn North at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 15, Wang said.
North is the former director of education and community at the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City, Missouri, where he curated educational programming for an exhibit called “For All The World To See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights” in 2018, Wang said.
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The Park City Museum had scheduled to show the exhibit in March, but the museum was forced to close due to COVID-19 restrictions, Wang said.
“The exhibit goes from images of Emmett Till and Aunt Jemima to the birth of Ebony and Jet magazines,” she said. “It also looks at how visual media and culture helped the world see the reality of racial violence.”
North will talk about his experience with the exhibit and the Black Lives Matter movement, which is timely in the wake of the recent arrests and charging of two white men in Georgia for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man who was out for a run, Wang said.
Park City Film originally planned to screen “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, to accompany the exhibit, she said.
Morrison, a former dean of faculty at Princeton University, passed away eight months after the documentary’s premiere.
“The film is about Toni and the power of her written word,” Wang said. “She was such a beautiful and powerful writer, and she was so articulate.”
The film also addresses some of the challenges Morrison, the first African-American to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, faced as she began gaining prominence in the literary world, according to Wang.
“People like (TV journalist) Charlie Rose would ask her if she would ever get beyond writing black stories, and her response was, ‘Why would I?’” Wang said.
“She wrote about the African-American experience for African-Americans, so the onus is on non black people to do some work and research to learn more about and appreciate what she was talking about.”
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