RUSSELL BANKS: I WRITE IN ORDER TO BE A BETTER PERSON is a 90-minute documentary film, shot in vivid HD accompanied by stills, archival footage and theatrical films that brings audiences face to face with the celebrated author Russell Banks. Russell Banks is a testament to that resilience. He is someone who has built a life around his art and how that art has transformed him from his troubled and humble beginnings.
He grew up in relative poverty in a very dysfunctional household. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous international prizes and awards including the John Dos Passos Prize for fiction. Both Continental Drift in 1986 and Cloudsplitter in 1999 were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
His novels, Affliction, and The Sweet Hereafter were adapted into feature films which received widespread critical acclaim: James Coburn won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and Nick Nolte was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for their roles in Affliction; The Sweet Hereafter won three awards, including the Grand Prix and the International Critics Award at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.
Our Russell Banks film is driven by archival material, narrated excerpts and interviews with those who know him, this documentary brings audiences face to face with the celebrated author, Russell Banks. This film presents a fascinating study of how Banks’ creative process led him to question his own biases and cultural assumptions and serves as an example of how one can generate the empathy and compassion required to recognize the full, shared humanity of those with backgrounds and outlooks different from our own.