Documentaries about notable figures are a dime a dozen. The ones that lionize the artists are the most egregious because they distance their work from their humanity. Yes, John Coltrane may have been one of the greatest jazz musicians of his day. Yes, Orson Welles was decades ahead of his time. Yes, [insert author/poet/painter/etc. here] re-invented the wheel and taught people how to see the world anew. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
If any author were worthy of such a treatment, Toni Morrison would undoubtedly be on the shortlist. But what makes Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ documentary, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, is that it both is and is not simultaneously. It’s a caring piece of work, one that makes you want to read or re-read Morrison’s work post-haste. Currently, the movie is in limited release, and my glowing review appears in this Thursday’s Boulder Weekly.