Legendary actress Cicely Tyson ages from 19 to 110 in the role of Jane Pittman, an African-American woman whose life began in slavery and ended at the inception of the Civil Rights Movement. While the Pittman character is a combination of typical experiences of the African American people, this epic unfolds nevertheless as a poignant and familair truth about the soul of a people and their redemption. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a stunning achievement in cinematic production.
As the drama begins, northern journalist Quentin Lerner (Michael Murphy) travels to the racially polarized South of 1962 to interview Ms. Pittman for a potential book. Her life unfolds in flashbacks, many painful and unpleasant, but just as many are uplifting and hopeful. The film concludes with one of the most indelible images of ever captured on screen...the centenarian Jane Pittman defiantly drinking from a segregated water fountain for the first time. Based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines and filmed on location in Baton Rouge, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman won nine Emmy Awards, including Best Actress (Tyson), Director (John Korty), and Screenplay (Tracy Keenan Wynn). Pittman remains at the top of the list of social conscious epics on the civil and human rights struggle of the African American...Tyson anchors the drama to epic story-telling with an amazing performance. Classic Media (2012), English, DVD, Number of discs: 2, Rated: Unrated, Run Time: 150 minutes.
Special features include: "The Making of the Autobiography of Ms. Jane Pittman" documentary - behind the scenes footage; new interviews with Ernest J. Gaines, Odetta, director John Korty, producers Rick Rosenberg and Bob Christiansen and more; "The Writing of the Autobiography of Ms. Jane Pittman" documentary - Ernest J. Gaines gives an in-depth look at the people and places that inspired his award-winning novel; "Oral Story Telling Tradition" documentary - scholars explain the important of oral story-telling; Best Picture and Best Actress Emmy clips.