Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

Identifiable Qualities: Toni Morrison

  • Rating: ****
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $250.00
  • Date: Copyright 1989. Released 1989.
  • Descriptors: Morrison, Toni (interview). American literature - Women authors. Authors, American. Black authors. Women - Authors.
  • Production Information: Live action. Produced by Sindamani Bridglal . Color. 26 min.
  • Production Company: Corentyne Productions
  • Available from: Women Make Movies 462 Broadway, 5th Floor New York, NY 10013 (212)925-0606
  • Cataloging: 813.54 Morrison, Toni||Afro-American women authors
  • Print Entry #: 2:815
  • Reviewer: Eric H. White

    The producer of this video has captured a refreshing interview with Toni Morrison, author of The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, and Beloved (for which she won a Pulitzer Prize).

    Toni Morrison is a true American literary visionary steeped in a tradition of storytelling distilled from a rich cultural background. She has worked hard to develop her own style as a renowned international writer. The many facets of her experiences form those "identifiable qualities" that distinguish Morrison's writing.

    This documentary focuses on the author's ordeals and triumphs as a college professor, an editor at Random House, a writer of novels, and a woman with a distinct cultural identity. Morrison discusses how she has taken these experiences and extracted the oral traditions, folkloric background, and fascination for the enchanted that inform her work. Her insight and clear vision provide a road map for others to follow. The interview presentation allows the author to speak for herself.

    Technically, the production is nicely edited and flows well. The informal interview with Morrison, conducted by publisher Margaret Busby, pursues a pleasant documentary style. This format allows the subject's personality to really come through. The camera moves between the author and the interviewer, with a few cut-away shots of Morrison's books.

    This program is recommended viewing for high school, college, and adult audiences. Despite the cost, which includes public performance rights, this is a worthy title to have in any library collection.

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