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BronzeLens Festival opens with Alice Walker documentary

Beverly Guy-Sheftall,Professor of Women’s Studies and English at Spelman College; Alice Walker, Jacqueline Jones Royster, Dean of Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts; and Kathleen Bertrand, founding executive director of BronzeLens Film Festival

Beverly Guy-Sheftall,Professor of Women’s Studies and English at Spelman College; Alice Walker, Jacqueline Jones Royster, Dean of Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts; and Kathleen Bertrand, founding executive director of BronzeLens Film Festival

The 4th Annual BronzeLens Festival opened on Wednesday, Nov. 6 with a screening of the documentary Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth and a talk back section with the literary lioness. The compelling documentary tells the story of Alice Walker’s journey from a shack in rural Georgia to being one of the most prolific writers of our time.

Held at the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, the talk back was conducted by Valerie Boyd author Wrapped in Rainbows and editor of Gathering Blossoms Under Fire, based on Alice Walker’s diaries.

Here’s what you missed.

On why she agreed to allow Pratibha Parmar to direct the documentary …

Pratibha Parmar and I made a film many years ago called Warrior Marks after I’d written a book about female genital mutilation. She’s a true Napoleon and she can get things done. Even in Africa, she managed to find everything she needed to make the film through difficult circumstances. It made me realize how good and trustworthy she is. She’s the type of person who begins and finishes a project … she’s a perfectionist. One day she and I drove from Berkeley, Calif., to Albuquerque, N.M., and it’s just incredible desert beauty. We talked about the possibility of her doing the film. I thought it was a great idea. When you’re friends, you know each other and love each other, it can happen. It would be great if we could impress this on our [political] leaders.

On how she finds peace and serenity …

Accept yourself and [your] reality. For most of my life, I have been a meditator, a sitting meditator. You have to order yourself. I do it by gardening. I am a strong believer in sweeping. Get yourself a beautiful broom and spend as much time as you can sweeping — at least once or twice a day. There is such an abundance of love that is supporting us. If we just connect with it, how could we not be peaceful?