In 1969, Soul Sister hit the best-seller list and sold over a million copies in paper back. It was an account written by a white Texan beauty, the highest-ranking woman on President Lyndon B Johnson’s staff. Translated into six languages, it travelled the world, shaking things up. It literally rocked worlds, for Grace Halsell who’d penned it, living in the super-luxurious complex of Watergate, the centre of a privileged and white Washington establishment elite, had darkened her skin and passed. As so many had ‘passed’ before, but heading in the other direction. She left behind a rich trove of personal papers (diaries, letters, photographs, documents) lodged between the Texan Christian University and the Eastern University. Her literary estate was bequeathed to Howard University in Washington DC. Two of these are HBCUs – historically black universities, established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.She opened up an alternative and intimate history of race and sex that was taboo and dangerous yet fundamental to an understanding of human freedom and social hierarchy. Drawing on these papers and those of the Lyndon B Johnson administration, and documents revealed from the FBI and the CIA, the film will be part investigation, part dramatic reconstruction (using vintage archive and filmed sequences).
25 000 €
Ile de France