Directed by: Bob Hercules & Rita Coburn Whack | 2016 | 1h 56m | Unrated
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This is the first feature documentary about the incomparable Dr. Maya Angelou, best known for her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” icon Maya Angelou gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. Dr. Angelou’s was a prolific life; as a singer, dancer, activist, poet, and writer she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. This unprecedented film celebrates Dr. Maya Angelou by weaving her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos, which paint hidden moments of her exuberant life during some of America’s most defining moments. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana to her inaugural speech for President Bill Clinton, the film takes us on an incredible journey through the life of a true American icon. The film also features a remarkable series of interviews with friends and family including President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Alfre Woodard, Cicely Tyson, Quincy Jones, Secretary Hillary Clinton, John Singleton and Dr. Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson.
“It’s hard not to be inspired by a life this well lived.”
– NEW YORK TIMES
“Through a rich selection of archival material, directors Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack trace the traumas and triumphs of an extraordinary life. Offers ample evidence of her commanding intensity and of her importance as an unwavering voice of the black experience.”
– LOS ANGELES TIMES
“The images in the doc…make the film a whirlwind trip through black America in the twentieth century. Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack get inside the monument that Angelou had become in her later years, while never losing sight of their subject’s moral stature. Refreshingly lean…it’s Angelou’s voice that matters here, and the doc captures it.”
– SCREEN DAILY