April’s a bit of a busy month, especially for those on the publishing courses in the final stretch of their deadlines, so we hosted a film screening for people to relax, hang out and just watch a great little documentary. Our choice, given the pending release of Go Set A Watchman, was Hey, Boo, a documentary on Harper Lee and her work.
Jane Austen of the Deep South.
Rather than talk you step by step through the documentary, we’ll just say: it’s really good. If you’ve been interested in To Kill A Mockingbird at all, or even in the release of her long-lost manuscript, this will raise some good talking points.
Built up of interviews with people who know or knew Harper Lee, it constructs an image of the author from childhood through to the moment she decided to cut off all contact with the press and beyond. Far from being a recluse, those who know her say, she was just a woman living her life, deciding to keep the press away. Though she doesn’t appear in the documentary herself, interview snippets from the past are used, including a particularly nice one where she wants to document life in her own little town, and be the Jane Austen of the Deep South.
Truman Capote plays a surprising role in her story, her next door neighbour and childhood friend was essentially Dill in TKAM. Two of her friends gave her money to take a year off and write whatever she wanted, which went on to become her life’s work. There’s many fun facts like this that will spring up and catch just the casual fan off-guard, but definitely leave you leaping into discussions after it – we certainly did, at least.
An announcement of May’s event will be coming soon (it’s a good one, promise!), so stay tuned. And if you’ve ever been interested in Harper Lee or her work, we recommend this documentary!