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Tribute to a struggling legend

Maya Angelou: And Still In Rise.
African-American multi-artist Maya Angelou turned all adversity into wisdom and poetry.

Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014) is a legend. Outside the US, she is best known as a poet and writer, but her talents were expressed in many ways: She was a singer, dancer, film director and political activist. Making the first biographical film about Maya Angelou's life could not have been an easy task, and the result is an in-depth portrait of a woman who created the art of living life – which turned all adversity she encountered into knowledge and poetry.

"My mission here in life is not just to survive, but to grow and prosper, and to do so with a certain passion, a good portion of compassion, some humor and definitely not without style," is one of Angelou's many well-known statements. And even though the film doesn't reach the great stylistic heights, it leaves no doubt that she lived a different life.

And Still In Rise is made from a classic cinematic film structure with archival footage and talking heads interviews. The story is told through a myriad of voices. Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Alfre Woodard, Cicely Tyson, Quincy Jones, Hillary Clinton, John Singleton and Angelou's own son Guy Johnson – all woven into a narrative held together by interviews with Angelou himself, as with his unforgettable charm tells their own version of the story.

The film covers each phase of her life in chronological order, beginning with a childhood marked by abuse. . .

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Bianca-Olivia Nita
Nita is a freelance journalist and critic for Ny Tid.

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