Octavia Butler Documentary!
It has been said many times before that if Octavia E. Butler never existed, she would have had to have been invented. The only surviving child of a domestic worker whose family migrated from the South to California for a better life, Butler grew up in the 1950’s, as an introverted and shy child who turned to reading as a way to escape the harsher realities of life. As a youth, she witnessed first hand, the economic and social powerlessness, but also the dynamic innovation of the women in her family and it inspired her speculation in the creation of her own worlds. Her stories were filled with people who looked like her and dominated the narratives as protagonists in her near future dystopias, far future alien invasion stories and time traveling alternate histories.
The Octavia E. Butler project will be a feature length documentary exploring the life and work of the world’s first known, African American woman science fiction writer. Through interviews with family, friends, associates and mentors, and through her own words, this biographical project will tell the story of the child with a “positive obsession” for writing herself in, to her struggles to become a published writer, to her achievement as a MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient and more. It will also include rare footage of her from the last three years of her life, as it sketches out an intimate look at the famously, private woman.
Directed by M. Asli Duncan.