4th Annual Blackstar Film Festival
August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
Directed by Sam Pollard
USA, 2014, 85 min.
The first feature-length documentary about the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning playwright August Wilson is based on unprecedented access to Wilson’s theatrical archives, rarely seen interviews with family members, and new dramatic readings of his work by renowned actors. Film and theater luminaries Viola Davis, Charles Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Suzan-Lori Parks and Phylicia Rashad share their stories of the career- and life-changing experience of bringing Wilson’s rich theatrical voice to the stage. Wilson’s sister Freda Ellis, his widow and costume designer Constanza Romero, artistic collaborators, friends, colleagues and scholars discuss Wilson’s influences, creative evolution, triumphs, struggles and quest for cultural determinism. Said filmmaker Sam Pollard, who has earned multiple Emmy and Peabody Awards as producer-editor of documentaries including When the Levees Broke and Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson: “He stands head and shoulders with Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. People know their works and I want them to know the works of August Wilson.”