Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
According to Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, the author of such acclaimed novels as Beloved and The Bluest Eye is a flawless individual and the purest example of how to live a human life.
Take Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ film with a proverbial grain of salt, but despite the dangers of hagiographic bio-docs, in these divisive times, perhaps a figure like Morrison, presented in these practically perfect terms, is precisely what humanity needs to unite and move forward together.
The Black List director’s textbook engaging visual technique, centered on lightning quick edits of camera perspectives without interrupting the subject’s revelations, spruces up would-be vanilla talking head interviews, which here feature praise from Oprah Winfrey, Walter Mosley, Fran Leibowitz, and Russell Banks.
The caucasian Greenfield-Sanders’ depiction of African-Americans’ struggles through copious archival photographs and a surprising amount of paintings is likewise engaging and nicely complements Morrison’s open, poetic telling of her life’s standout events and the wisdom she’s gained in the process.
Though the author herself is occasionally too giggly for her own good, her bubbly attitude is arguably better than the alternative. And while the two-hour runtime occasionally feels a bit long, so much of her life feels unexplored, including what she’s been up to since winning the Nobel Prize.
Grade: B. Rated PG-13. Now playing at Grail Moviehouse
(Photo: Magnolia Pictures)