The first feature length documentary on acclaimed author, activist, and educator Dr. Maya Angelou is screening at this week's RiverRun International Film Festival.
The film is called “Maya Angelou and Still I Rise” and chronicles everything from her traumatic childhood, to the civil rights movement and through her literary career. Rita Coburn-Whack, who began working on the project in 2011, knew early on who should tell the tale. Instead of using a traditional narrator, the film uses archived audio and video from the subject herself.
“And when we told the story, we knew immediately that we could not use a narrator - because once you heard Maya Angelou's voice, it was over - who would we get?”
Coburn-Whack says Angelou's spirit and the tone of the film can be summed up easily in the author's own words.
“You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary that you encounter defeat so that you know who you are.”
The film screens April 11th and 12th at SECCA in Winston-Salem. The filmmakers will be present at the screenings.