The Color Purple, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about black communities and interpersonal relations between men and women of color in the South, catapulted Alice Walker to fame as a writer. But beyond this work (actually her tenth novel) many of us do not know the complexity and richness of her life, not only as a writer but as a global activist.
True to her artistic career, filmmaker Pratibha Parmar is continuing her efforts to make history through her latest film, Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 31. In this inspiring and informative documentary, Parmar tells the story of Alice Walker, from poverty-stricken child of the unbearably racist South to acclaimed writer and activist. Through a blend of archival footage that recreates the political and social contexts of Walker’s life from the mid 1940s onward with interviews from a range of Walker’s friends—including Howard Zinn, Gloria Steinem, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Quincy Jones and Steven Spielberg—Parmar presents audiences with a detailed landscape of the “beauty” and “truth” of Walker’s life.