2021 Sundance Docs in Focus: AMY TAN: UNINTENDED MEMOIR

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by KPJR Films


AMY TAN: UNINTENDED MEMOIR
The late James Redford profiles the life and career of the noted author.

Festival Section:
Premieres

Sundance Program Description:

Literary titan Amy Tan analyzes her life, her work, and her family—in the present and past tense—in this longitudinal biopic directed by James Redford. As Tan traces her childhood through The Joy Luck Club and her later compositions, she dissects issues of representation, multigenerational trauma, and the stigma and challenge of illness. Forcefully matrilineal in focus, this film moves through generations of Tan’s family, revealing listening as the heart of Tan’s creative practice and contextualizing the patience with which Tan broke through barriers and waited on the other side, welcoming the world to join her.

This, the late James Redford’s final film, epitomizes his filmmaking talent, treading with great empathy into the life story of another and leaving telltale signs of a directorial vision both crystalline and warm. Perfectly implementing the generative listening Tan highlights so deliberately, Redford is responsive and engaged in this dimensional portrait of one of the most important writers in contemporary fiction.

Some Background:

Director:
James Redford
Past Sundance docs:
AKICITA: THE BATTLE OF STANDING ROCK (2018)
RESILIENCE (2016)
THE D WORD aka THE BIG PICTURE: RETHINKING DYSLEXIA (2012)
THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS (1999)

Co-founder, KPJR Films. Redford, the son of Robert Redford, passed away in October. He was also the co-founder and chair of the Redford Center, a non-profit that aims to create social change through human stories related to environmental concerns.

Producers:
Karen Pritzker
Past Sundance docs:
RESILIENCE
THE D WORD

Co-founder, KPJR Films. Pritzker is also a philanthropist, whose Seedlings Foundation, is focused on supporting the physical and mental health of children and families.

Cassandra Jabola
First Sundance credit. Jabola previously served as post producer for Redford’s feature docs Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution and PLAYING FOR KEEPS.

Executive Producers:
Michael Kantor
Past Sundance docs:
TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM (2019)
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL (2019)
WORDS FROM A BEAR (2019)
MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE (2016)
NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU (2016)

Executive producer, American Masters. Kantor also serves as as executive producer for US Documentary Competition titles AILEY and RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT. Before coming to the PBS series, for which he has received several Emmy nominations, Kantor was an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning director whose work appeared on PBS, HBO, and Bravo.

More Info:
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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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