Poet, storyteller, actress, dancer, and passionate activist Maya Angelou gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. Hers was a prolific life in which she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. This unprecedented film celebrates Dr. Angelou by weaving her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos that show her impact on the world. 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.
Features also a remarkable series of interviews 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.”
“. . . a nuanced portrait of a woman who owned both the joy and pain of her life and poured all of it into her writing in an effort to liberate herself and others. This is a revelatory exploration of Angelou, a rebel who relished defying those who wanted to confine her in a box.”
“What Coburn Whack and Hercules do so well is capture Angelou’s power and elegance, which seems to have increased as she got older. It’s that longevity and creative drive that the film celebrates. No hagiography, it paints a portrait of a life lived to the full and dedicated to being true to oneself.”
“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.”
“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.”
Winner, Best Documentary, 2016 Boulder International Film Festival
Winner, Best Documentary, 2016 Ft. Myers Film Festival
Audience Award, 2016 AFI Docs Film Festival
Audience Award, 2016 Cinetopia Film Festival
Audience Award and Best International Film, 2016 Encounters Film Festival