Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (2017)

  |  Documentary


Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (2017) Poster

Literary icon Joan Didion reflects on her remarkable career and personal struggles in this intimate documentary directed by her nephew, Griffin Dunne.


7.4/10
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Director:

Griffin Dunne

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6 November 2017 | margaretvojta
10
| Spellbinding
I am so amazed by Joan Didion's life, her talents, her brilliance, her strength, and her tragic losses.

In this documentary, you see Joan as she is now - a frail and elderly woman with multiple sclerosis, being interviewed by her nephew, Griffin Dunne. Joan is brilliant and, even though she is in her 80s, you see a spark in her eyes. By the way, she was also married to John Gregory Dunne, a very famous writer as well (whose brother you may know - Dominick Dunne), and you feel like you know John by the end of this documentary.

During this documentary, she talks about a point in her marriage when she and John were going to get a divorce, but moved instead, and eventually stayed together and grew even closer. This amazed me because I assume (since I am not married) and hear that marriages go through peaks and valleys. To see this whole documentary and then wonder what would have happened if they had divorced when they were having problems instead of staying together as they did, this story would not be the same at all. Even after having their problems, it seems (by all accounts) that these two had a great love.

This is not only a documentary, but a lesson for life in a way. I only wish I can be as strong as Joan is when and if I reach her age. She is very open and honest about everything, and you see a side of her that makes you feel like you are watching her without her knowledge -- thoroughly fascinating.

Toward the end of this documentary, there are some very sad and shocking things that happen, but what is amazing is the way that Joan (unprepared as we all are for the death of our loved ones) proceeds with her life, and you will find the way she deals with these tragedies astonishingly brave. I knew Joan was and is a wonderful and a one-of-a-kind writer, but I didn't know what an amazing person she is as well.

This documentary is a must-see, even if you have just for the first time learned about Joan Didion. It is an especially beautiful experience for lovers of Joan's writing, as well as lovers of literature and life.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The featured instrumental song is called Sandusky by Uncle Tupelo.


Soundtracks

On The Road Again
Written by
Alan Wilson and Floyd Jones
Performed by Canned Heat
Courtesy of Capitol Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises

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Documentary

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