BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez
A new documentary—now in production, scheduled for completion in 2013
by Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon
For 78-year-old Sonia Sanchez, writing is both a personal and political act. She emerged as a seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement, raising her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women's liberation, and peace as a poet, playwright, teacher, activist and early champion of the spoken word. She is among the earliest poets to have incorporated urban black English into her poetry; she was one of the first activists to secure the inclusion of African American studies in university curricula. Deemed "a lion in literature's forest" by poet Maya Angelou and winner of major literary awards including the American Book Award, Sonia Sanchez is best known for 17 books of poetry that explore a wide range of global and humanist themes, particularly the struggles and triumphs of women and people of color.
In BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, Sanchez's life unfolds in a documentary rich with readings and jazz-accompanied performances of her work. This one-hour documentary will examine her contribution to the world of poetry, her singular place in the Black Arts Movement and her leadership role in African American culture over the last half century. Despite her achievements, there is—as yet—no major film documenting her life and the impact of her work. Our documentary's title is drawn from Sanchez's second book of poetry, We a BaddDDD People, which picks up on the street usage that subverts the word bad to mean good—will look at Sanchez as writer and at the groundbreaking artistic and political movements she embraced and influenced. At the heart of the film will be her performances: Her powerful "spoken word" reading style often segues into song or chant and can include instrumentation and spontaneous or choreographed dance.
BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez was featured at IFP's Spotlight on Documentaries at Independent Film Week, September 2012.
Visit BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez on Facebook
Sundance Documentary Fund
The National Endowment for the Arts
Lomax Family Foundation
The Philadelphia Foundation
Women in Film Foundation Film Finishing Fund.
Producers/Directors: Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater
Producer/Editor: Sabrina Schmidt Gordon
Camera: Peter Brownscombe, Bobby Shepard, Brian Noreika, Eric Hurt, Mike Attie
Composer: Evan Solot
Editor: Sharon Mullally
Creative Adviser: Louis Massiah
John H. Bracey, Jr.
Lisa J. Green
Joyce A. Joyce