Hamptons Doc Fest to Celebrate Author Toni Morrison

 The 12th annual Hamptons Doc Fest opens its fall season with the acclaimed documentary “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” the artful and uplifting film on the life and works of the legendary African-American author, winner of Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes, who passed away on August 5.

The film screens at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 5 p.m.

The film’s director and producer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, a friend of Toni Morrison’s for 38 years, will be on hand for a Q&A after the screening.

The film had its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and Los Angeles Times film critic Gary Goldstein wrote, “Look for this one to be front and center in its category come Oscar time.”

The film, through interviews with Morrison, follows her life from childhood in the steel town of Lorain, Ohio, through her education at Howard University, marriage and motherhood, editing life at Random House, the publication of novels “The Bluest Eye,” “Sula,” “Song of Solomon,” and “Beloved,” and teaching at Princeton University.

Along the way, it also follows the African-American experience from slavery through the civil rights movement; features interviews with Angela Davis, Hilton Als, Fran Lebowitz, Walter Mosley, Sonia Sanchez, Farah Griffin, long-time editor Robert Gottlieb, and Oprah Winfrey, who made “Beloved” into a feature film; and covers the ceremony where she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2012.

 “The Morrison film seemed a perfect way to begin our fall season and pay tribute to her life,” said Hamptons Doc Fest founder and executive director Jacqui Lofaro. “Toni Morrison’s voice was raw, beautiful and eloquently honest. Her authentic words jolted us out of complacency, starting with her earliest work, “The Bluest Eye.” This documentary of her life, made by longtime friend Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, brings her back to us in wonderful ways. Morrison was, and remains, a natural treasure of American literature.”

Ms. Lofaro is also looking forward to the upcoming 12th annual Hamptons Doc Fest, December 5 through 9, five full days of documentary films from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., also at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

The festival features a carefully curated selection of intriguing and engaging documentary films.

“Our screening committee spends countless hours reviewing the entered films, to find those that challenge, enlighten and delight our audiences. We never stop looking for well-told stories. And simply put, a good documentary is a well-told story,” she said.

Tickets for the Sept. 22 Toni Morrison film are now on sale for $20 at both www.hamptonsdocfest.com and www.baystreet.org.

Tickets for the December 5 through 9 film festival will go on sale in early November. Info is available at info@hamptonsdocfest.com or 631.237.8055. To receive email alerts for upcoming Hamptons Doc Fest news, go to the website and enter your email address.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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