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Flannery

Elizabeth Coffman
Mark Bosco
United States, 2019, 96 min.


Winner of the first-ever Library of Congress / Lavine Family / Ken Burns Prize for Film, Flannery is the lyrical, intimate exploration of the life and work of author Flannery O’Connor, whose distinctive Southern Gothic style influenced a generation of artists and activists. With her family home at Andalusia (the Georgia farm where she grew up and later wrote her best known work) as a backdrop, a picture of the woman behind her sharply aware, starkly redemptive style comes into focus. Including conversations with those who knew her and those inspired by her (Mary Karr, Tommy Lee Jones, Lucinda Williams, Hilton Als and more), Flannery employs never-before-seen archival footage, newly discovered personal letters and her own published words (read by Mary Steenburgen) alongside original animations and music to elevate the life and legacy of an American literary icon.

Director's Statement

Throughout making the film, I never got tired of reading O’Connor’s work or of thinking about her life story. Seriously! I enjoyed reading her letters almost as much as her fiction. O’Connor was truly a very funny person, both smart and well-read in philosophy, theology and literature. I was most surprised at discovering how young O'Connor was—just 17—when she first started feeling “arthritic” pains, and then received an almost certain early death sentence of lupus in her mid-twenties. O’Connor was brave, unsentimental, and an obsessive who was committed to her life’s work, her family and her friends. I’m sure I am guilty of over-identifying with her. But now I’m firmly a member of the Flannery O’Connor fan club!

Category: Feature Doc, Documentary, Festival Alum.
Themes: Literature, Writer, Women.

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