Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 18 May |
Saint of the Day: St. John I
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Documentary on life of Flannery O’Connor wins Library of Congress/Ken Burns prize

AP File Photo 1962

Zelda Caldwell - published on 10/23/19

The new film explores the Catholic writer's faith, life, and writing.

A biographical documentary on the Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor was awarded the first Library of Congress/Ken Burns Prize for film, reported the New York Times.

The film, directed by Elizabeth Coffman and Marc Bosco, a Jesuit priest and professor at Georgetown University, tells the story of Flannery O’Connor’s life, faith, work, and her struggle with lupus, the disease that ended her life at the age of 39 in 1964.

O’Connor was the author of the novels Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away, and 32 short stories, many of which featured freakish characters populating a horror-tinged world that arose out of the author’s deeply Catholic sensibility.

Flannery was created in the style of Ken Burns’ documentaries, reported the New York Times:

“Flannery” uses interviews, archival footage, photographs and voice actors (Mary Steenburgen reads as Ms. O’Connor) to tell the story of her life, writings and faith in the face of racism, sexism and her struggle with lupus. Ms. O’Connor’s iconic stories are also brought to life through motion graphics, created by a team of female animators.

According to the documentary’s website, the film also features “Flannery-inspired music” from Lucinda Williams and Bruce Springsteen.

The award provides a $200,000 grant to defray the costs of post-production, marketing and outreach, according to the New York Times report.

Read more:
6 Ways author Flannery O’Connor can inspire our modern lives

After the award ceremony at the Library of Congress on Thursday, the film will have its world premiere at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival in Arkansas. It will be shown at the New Orleans Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival later this month.

Watch the trailer here:

Flannery Trailer from Elizabeth Coffman on Vimeo.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
Why Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as an apostle
Philip Kosloski
Ascension vs. assumption: What is the difference?
ascension of Jesus
Philip Kosloski
Was Mary present at the ascension of Jesus?
Larry Peterson
Benedict XVI called him “one of the most unusual saintsR...
Philip Kosloski
How to pray the Divine Praises
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.