Toni Morrison Remembers

July 14, 2015

An intimate portrait of Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison, dubbed ‘America’s first lady of literature’. Her books encompass the whole of black American history but live and breathe in the present.

Toni Morrison is now 85 – we filmed her at her New York apartment and her house on the Hudson River. We went back to the small town she comes from in Ohio, the setting for her first, brilliant book The Bluest Eye, a magical and painful tale of poverty and racism. We filmed her family home by the steelyards, the lakeshore where black people couldn’t go , ‘so it filled our dreams’, the old library where she found Tolstoy and Austen to complement her mother’s folktales and ghost stories. Nowadays the local school is named in her honour, and children all over America study her books.

Her best known novel is Beloved, which re-imagines the horrors of slavery perhaps better than any other artwork. Contributors include her friends Angela Davis (whose biography she edited in 1974) and the opera singer Jessye Norman, who went to the same black university, Howard.

‘An hour only skimmed the surface, but it was an hour filled with Morrison’s presence, prose and commentary … You could hardly ask for anything more.’Lucy Mangan,
The Guardian

‘revealing, fascinating’
Mail on Sunday

‘a warm and funny interviewee’

‘uncovers a rich seam of the US black experience’




  • International Art Film Festival, Tel Aviv 2016

Producer/Director Jill Nicholls
Series Editor and Presenter Alan Yentob
Executive Producer Tanya Hudson
Film Editor Allen Charlton
Cinematography Daniel Meyers