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Flannery | Clip

From the Director: The Making of Flannery

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Hear from director Elizabeth Coffman on why she was so drawn to Flannery O’Connor’s stories, and how the film came together in this special exclusive.

(pigs grunting) - When I was an English major growing up in the South, I first fell in love with a precocious, brilliant, differently abled writer from Georgia.

Flannery O'Connor was writing dark, provocative fiction about immigrant families, bible thumping prophets, - Where you come from is gone.

[Elizabeth] - Racist grandmas, and murderous misfits.

[Woman]- Well it would have been better for all of you lady, if you hadn't of recognized me.

[Elizabeth] - The idea for this documentary began after co-director Mark Bosco was given a series of wonderful interviews that had been done with family, friends, and colleagues of O'Connor.

Mark asked me to join him in producing a film that would look at O'Connor's life and work, with these early interviews forming the backbone.

Great artists loved the comic insecurities, the tragically bad behaviors.

Both Conan O'Brien and Tommy Lee Jones wrote papers at Harvard on her fiction.

Lucinda Williams and Bruce Springsteen have written songs from her stories, and shared their music with us.

♪ I would sleep ♪ on a bed of nails ♪ Till my back was torn and bleeding. ♪ ♪ In the deep... Because O'Connor started her creative life as a young cartoonist, we hired talented animators to illustrate her life and her stories.

(frenzied music) (child screaming) (lion roaring) There is something so timely to O'Connor stories.

The place of religious faith in American life.

The physical and metaphorical attention to disability.

The way that class and race continue to play out in America today.

Few people have confronted their own racist feelings, and examined where those racist feelings come from, the way O'Connor has in her fiction.

As O'Connor wrote, 'to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind, you draw large and startling figures.'

♪ I wanna get right with God ♪ Yes, you know you've got to get right with God. ♪