Saturday, February 8, 2014

“Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth”: A Film

Last night I watched Pratibha Parmar’s wonderful documentary film, “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth” (American Masters, PBS, 2/7/14), shown in honor of her approaching 70th birthday (February 9, 2014). As I wrote here on 5/26/10, I have gone through various phases in my reading, or non-reading, of Walker’s work, but I always acknowledge the greatness of at least some of her writing, and further the fearless dedication and power of her activism for many causes, including women’s rights and civil rights for many populations around the world. Parmar’s film highlights this close connection between Walker’s writing and activism, and the way she has always spoken out even when she has been pilloried for it. I found the film informational and inspiring, and – although this may sound frivolous – delightful. Walker, at the age of 70 seems to have arrived at a mostly very good (despite sadnesses such as the estrangement from her daughter Rebecca) place in her life. She continues to be passionate about her writing and the causes she cares about, as well as about gardening and painting and living a peaceful life in her home in a rural area of Northern California. As she says, she has people around her when she wants to, and solitude when she wants and needs that. Although I don’t necessarily agree with all of her opinions and actions, I have tremendous admiration for this strong, brave writer and fighter for justice.

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