Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
theatrical release poster
theatrical release poster
Directed byTimothy Greenfield-Sanders
Produced byJohanna Giebelhaus
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
Chad Thompson
Tommy Walker
StarringToni Morrison
Release date
CountryUnited States
Box office$903,018[1][2]

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am is a 2019 documentary film, directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, and produced by Johanna Giebelhaus, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Chad Thompson, and Tommy Walker. The film follows American novelist Toni Morrison who examines her life, her works and the powerful themes throughout her literary career. The film also features Oprah Winfrey, Russell Banks, Angela Davis, and Barack Obama.


Toni Morrison describes her life, her works, and the powerful themes she has written about throughout her literary career.


Morrison was an American novelist from Ohio.[3] In 1998 she earned the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her work Beloved (1987), and in 1993 became the first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.[3] She died on 5 August 2019, when the HuffPost, wrote that the "world lost one of its most important voices".[3]


Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% based on 74 reviews, with an average rating of 8.04/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am honors its acclaimed subject with a comprehensive, illuminating, and fittingly profound overview of her life and work."[4] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 80 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[5]

Alan Zilberman of The Washington Post wrote: "The film suffers from some of the familiar bad habits of the biographical documentary. At times, Greenfield-Sanders provides too many images and too much context, almost as if he doesn’t trust his own subject. The use of music — more filler than necessary at times — is also cloying".[6] Gary Goldstein of The Los Angeles Times wrote: "The remarkable documentary 'Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am' does so many things so well that it’s often like watching several fine films at once. Look for this one to be front and center in its category come Oscar time."[7] Nick Schager of Variety wrote: "Yet, inasmuch as it locates the heart of the author’s inspirations and attitudes, as well as her guiding ethos to capture grand national truths while focusing on the complex interior particulars of individual experience, 'Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,' at its best, serves the soul of its subject."[8] Caryn James of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "In The Pieces I Am, the outer self is enough to let viewers know that Morrison and her novels are treasures."[9]

Joshua Brunsting of CriterionCast wrote: "It’s a captivating, if flat, meditation on one of the great artists of our time, and while it may lean into hagiography, there are moments of genuine introspection that make this more than worthy of one's time".[10] David Bax of the Battleship Pretension wrote: "The film resists analysis in its essayistic plainness. Though Morrison’s writing is alive–jumping, soaring and diving deep–Greenfield-Sanders' film lays flat on the surface."[11]


  1. ^ "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  2. ^ "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  3. ^ a b c "Toni Morrison Documentary Reminds Us Of Everything We Owe Her". HuffPost UK. 2019-08-07. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  4. ^ Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019), retrieved 2019-09-20
  5. ^ Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, retrieved 2019-09-20
  6. ^ "Toni Morrison is a great storyteller, in her books and in this new documentary". The Washington Post. June 24, 2019. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "Review: 'Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am' powerfully profiles beloved writer". Los Angeles Times. 2019-06-19. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  8. ^ Schager, Nick (2019-01-29). "Film Review: 'Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am'". Variety. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  9. ^ "'Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am': Film Review | Sundance 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  10. ^ Brunsting, Joshua (2019-06-21). "Joshua Reviews Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am [Theatrical Review]". CriterionCast. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  11. ^ "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am: No Movement in the Margins, by David Bax". Battleship Pretension. 2019-06-20. Retrieved 2019-09-20.

External links[edit]