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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Documentary Shines Light On ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Author

Author Harper Lee during a ceremony honoring new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2007. (AP)

Author Harper Lee during a ceremony honoring new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2007. (AP)

In the fifty years since its publication, “To Kill A Mockingbird” has become an American classic, a staple in English classes and a critically-acclaimed movie.

A new documentary, “Hey Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird,” looks at how the story broke ground when it was first published and unearths a rare radio interview with the now-reclusive author Harper Lee.  In the interview, Lee talks about the success of her book. “My reaction to it, was not one of surprise,” she said, “It was of sheer numbness… of being hit over the head and knocked out cold.”

We speak to the documentary’s writer, producer, and director Mary McDonagh Murphy.


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  • Jeany Martin

    Some people read “Mockingbird” every year.  During an illness, I read it, then turned to the front and read it again until I’d re-read it 6 times in a row.  I discovered that the writing was like a wreath, that the end of the story twined back to the beginning, and that those recurring threads were embedded, like an elegant tapestry, though much more subtle, throughout the work.  That really magnified the brilliance of the writing.  Unfortunately, the movie, though good, didn’t – and could not have done – justice to the book.

  • Jeany Martin

    In my first comment, I said, “the movie, though good, didn’t – and could not have done – justice to the book” I was referring to the Mockingbird movie, not the documentary, which I’m looking forward to.

  • Jodi

    Movies don’t usually do justice to a book, they’re a different medium.  That said, the “Mockingbird” movie is one of the best adaptations of a book to movie I have ever seen.  The book and movie both stand on their own, and both compliment each other. 

  • Grace

    Where can we see this documentary????

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