“All facets of Lorraine Hansberry’s public life, private romances and early death are on view in this beguiling, illuminating and perfectly assembled documentary.”
—Dwight Brown, The Huffington Post
When Lorraine Hansberry’s now classic A Raisin in the Sun premiered on Broadway in 1959 (the first play by a Black woman to do so) actress Ruby Dee recalls marveling how it “opened a new chapter in theater, that included Black people.” While most may know the widely studied and performed A Raisin in the Sun as their only reference point for Hansberry, the documentary Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart makes abundantly clear that there is much more to know about the author.
The filmmakers combed archives worldwide and had unprecedented access to Hansberry’s personal papers, archives, home movies and photos in order to present her complex life. Like her writing and activism, the film draws attention to some of the most outstanding issues of the mid-Twentieth Century and beyond (racial justice, colonialism, feminism, class divisions, sexuality) and addresses the role of artists and intellectuals in bringing them to center stage.
“The documentary also wrestles directly with her sexuality, rather than avoid or allude to Hansberry’s same-sex relationships… Her lesbianism was a source of conflict and comfort and helped shape her feminist politics.”
—alamishah Tillet, New York Times
“Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart gives us Lorraine Hansberry in all of her feminist, queer, anti-racist and transnational complexity. What Tracy Heather Strain has achieved is nothing short of a gift.”
—Roderick Ferguson, University of Illinois-Chicago