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New Documentary Explores the Complex Racial Legacy of One of America’s Most Important and Beloved Writers: ‘Faulkner: The Past Is Never Dead’

New Documentary Explores the Complex Racial Legacy of One of America’s Most Important and Beloved Writers: ‘Faulkner: The Past Is Never Dead’

Narrated by and starring Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee, Eric Roberts, along with Skyler Adams; First screening set for Oxford Film Festival

JACKSON, Miss., Feb. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Yoknapatawpha Productions LLC and Coffee House Films proudly announced the first screening of “Faulkner: The Past Is Never Dead” scheduled for the upcoming Oxford Film Festival in Oxford, Mississippi, on March 3, 2023. The first feature-length documentary to examine the nuanced legacy of Nobel Prize-winner William Faulkner, “The Past Is Never Dead” goes where other documentary filmmakers have feared to tread—interweaving the complexity of Faulkner’s work, his life, and his often contradictory views on race.

“I wasn’t sure if I or other modern audiences could relate to Faulkner,” said documentary writer-director, Michael Modak-Truran. “There were things he said that I didn’t like and still struggle to completely understand. But during my research into Faulkner’s life and work, I understood how critical Faulkner is to our current moment. All while crafting unforgettable characters and stories, Faulkner’s literature embraces the complexity of race relations in America, which echoes eerily today. The documentary team and I think it is incredibly special and poetic that the first audience to see ‘The Past Is Never Dead’ on a large screen will be in the place where Faulkner lived and found inspiration.”

The Past Is Never Dead: Synopsis

Born to a family of segregationists, Faulkner is famous for confronting his own views about Black Americans and racial inequality. His Black characters are routinely depicted with a specificity unlike those written by his white contemporaries. Through his work, Faulkner starkly examines issues of race relations, equality, and civil rights. But how much Faulkner was able to escape his own demons, and exactly how modern audiences should approach the still problematic subject of race, is at the heart of “The Past Is Never Dead.” The documentary serves as an important springboard for discussion, reengaging Faulkner fans in a whole new way while enticing new readers to experience Faulkner’s brilliance for the first time.

Narrated by and starring Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Eric Roberts as William Faulkner, “The Past Is Never Dead” applies a hybrid storytelling technique to weave multiple narrative elements together. Using re-enactments set in both Faulkner’s homes and the surrounding North Mississippi community, interviews with leading Faulkner scholars from around the world, animations of the author’s drawings, along with an unforgettable score by multi-platform artist, Osei Essed, featuring an original song written and performed by Gareth Dunlop and Lee Rogers, the film completely immerses viewers in Faulkner’s world.

“This film has been a labor of love for us over the course of many years,” said documentary producer, Anastasia Lampton Triplett. “Michael and I started interviewing Faulkner scholars in 2017.  And while it started small, it was an exciting journey that grew quickly along with our amazing team. This movie is important because by embracing hard conversations as a community, we can start chipping away at our societal faults. Faulkner can help us with that. His work is more relevant today than ever before.”

For up-to-the-minute screening dates, times, and locations, follow the documentary discussion on social media: Facebook, Instagram, IMDB, and

Media Contact:
Anita Modak-Truran
[email protected]

SOURCE Yoknapatawpha Productions

Originally published at
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