RiverRun 2016: Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise


Maybe you’re old enough to remember seeing Maya Angelou on “Roots,” or you can recall her poem from Bill Clinton’s inauguration. But did you know about Maya Angelou’s close relationship with Malcolm X? What about her time spent living in Ghana or South Africa, or her several marriages, or the time she stared down a line of police officers on horseback?

For most anyone past their teenage years, Maya Angelou is a cultural touchstone. (And if this doesn’t describe you, quick, don’t tell anyone and rush to see this film.) But even avid readers of her prolific career likely lack the all-encompassing insight into the myriad things she did in her life, or haven’t heard about the significance of Angelou’s impact first-hand from other cultural pioneers. Be it a scene where Angelou describes James Baldwin counseling her — or chiding, really — on love or listening to the heartfelt remembrances of Angelou’s son, it would be hard for any viewer not to find something new and meaningful in Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. 

There’s added significance too, considering that so much of the film is Angelou in her own words and that she passed away in 2014, as well as the fact that she lived right here in Winston-Salem. That’s more than enough reasons to consider this PBS-esque biopic as a must-see.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise screens on April 11 at 8 p.m. and April 12 at 7:30 p.m. at SECCA.

—Eric Ginsburg