Sun Valley Museum of Art (SVMoA) continues its film series for the BIG IDEA project Deeds Not Words, which celebrates the many ways both seen and unseen — that women have worked for social change. As a part of this project, SVMoA has scheduled screenings of six documentary films that highlight women who have lived their lives in ways that push the boundaries of societally acceptable behavior for women, creating powerful and lasting change in their communities and beyond.
The final two films on the schedule are “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” (Feb. 18) and “Billie” (Feb. 25). The films will be shown at the Magic Lantern in Ketchum at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets will be sold in advance, and due to COVID-19 restrictions, a maximum of 10 attendees will be allowed to attend to ensure proper spacing within the theater.
Wrapping up the series of films on women for the Deeds Not Words BIG IDEA project, SVMoA is showing two films featuring African American artists during Black History Month. The first film, “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” centers on celebrated author Toni Morrison. Though she won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, her road to literary success was not always nicely paved by the critics. But her groundbreaking career gave both a voice and a platform to African American stories that had, up to that point, been largely ignored by white
literary gatekeepers and society at large.
The final film in the series is “Billie,” a new documentary on the talented and tormented singer Billie Holiday. Her unparalleled voice brought her to the spotlight, and her performance of the chilling song “Strange Fruit” created controversy as she was intent on raising awareness of the injustices that Black Americans were suffering. The film features footage of Holiday’s performances and is told from the perspective, journals, notes and audio recordings of journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl, who had done eight years of exhaustive research and interviews in the pursuit of creating the definitive biography of Billie Holiday in the 1970s. The biography went unfinished, however, as Kuehl died in 1978, her death ruled a suicide. “The research that Kuehl undertook is almost like an archaeological dig, recovering the voices of Count Basie, Charles Mingus, John Hammond and more — all being interviewed about Lady Day,” said Bretall.
In the interest of community health and safety, SVMoA and the Magic Lantern are adhering to CDC and local guidelines as they invite people back to events and film screenings at The Museum and theaters. Attendees are required to wear face masks at the Magic Lantern, and seating will be blocked to comply with physical distancing requirements. Anyone who feels ill or lives with someone who is ill should stay at home. A limited number of tickets will be sold in advance through the SVMoA website; tickets may not be available at the door if sold out. For those uncomfortable with an in-person experience, The Museum will post on its website how these films may be seen from home.
Tickets for all films are $10 for SVMoA members and $12 for nonmembers. For more information and to reserve tickets (limited seating), please visit svmoa.org or call 208.726.9491. There will also be further information about physical distancing on the SVMoA website.