Joan Didion was born in 1934, the same year as Gloria Steinham. They both intrigue me as women writers who earned a living as outsiders--reporters--investigating gender, class, community, and the seismic shifts of the larger cultural world from refreshingly different perspectives.
I confess I didn't know much about Didion's personal life--her famous in-laws, her famous friends--and the documentary flicks out photographs, interviews, and archival footage that are a delight to discover. The film gives you a peek into the intimate life of an intriguing person who worked hard to stay hidden, even though her books are so personal. There is a detachment she employed as a writer to report back to us. The documentary strips away some of the distance.
I found the interviews with Dunne fascinating. Her answers surprised me. I loved seeing how the thread of her life weaved through politics, subcultures, music, film, and her own family. And kudos to Griffin Dunne (and several members of her extended family) for putting this together right now. A reflection worthy of your time.
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