The Foreigner's Home: Toni Morrison at the Louvre

56 min. Rian Brown & Geoff Pingree, dist. by Video Project, www.videoproject.com. 2018. DVD $89; acad. libs. $295; DVD + DSL $395. Public performance; closed-captioned. ART-GENERAL
In 2006, Toni Morrison (b. 1931) guest-curated an exhibit at the Louvre, in Paris, for which she invited artists to discuss the experience of cultural and social displacement. This documentary, filmed over five years, is an expansion of that project, produced by Jonathan Demme (who died last year and to whom the film is dedicated) and students and faculty at Ohio's Oberlin College. The video combines footage from the 2006 event and extended interviews with the participants who include novelists, poets, dancers, and musicians. Morrison herself is interviewed at her Hudson River Valley home by writer Edwidge Danticat and explains how the centerpiece of the exhibit, Théodore Géricault's 1819 oil painting The Raft of the Medusa, symbolizes the message of this film and expounds two meanings: "the foreigner at home" and "the foreigner is home."
VERDICT An intriguing glimpse into Morrison's intellectual and artistic vision and how art can elicit powerful conversations about the human condition.
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