Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is a feature documentary exploring the life and legacy of the late feminist author Ursula K. Le Guin. With her works, Le Guin defiantly held her ground on the margin of “respectable” literature until the sheer excellence of her work, at long last, forced the mainstream to embrace fantastic literature.
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, by Arwen Curry. USA, 2018. 65´
Best known for groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy works such as A Wizard of Earthsea, The Left Hand of Darkness, and The Dispossessed, Le Guin defiantly held her ground on the margin of “respectable” literature until the sheer excellence of her work, at long last, forced the mainstream to embrace fantastic literature.
Produced with Le Guin’s participation over the course of a decade, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is a journey through the writer’s career and her worlds, both real and fantastic. Viewers will join the writer on an intimate journey of self-discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author, opening new doors for the imagination and inspiring generations of women and other marginalized writers along the way. The film features stunning animation and reflections by literary luminaries including Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Michael Chabon, and more.
What distinguishes the film is the way it explores Le Guin’s ideas, and the way she used science-fiction as a vehicle to explore human existence, politics, gender equality, the search for a perfect society and the price of happiness. She was the antidote to fantasy as a gung ho adventure yarn filled with robots and ray guns, alien invaders and saviours of the universe.
A perfect primer for anyone new to Le Guin, the documentary also has enough to offer dedicated fans, confirming her place as a major figure in literature and as a spiky, rebellious and engaging personality.
Arwen Curry has spent her career working on films about game-changing creative Americans. She was Associate Producer and Archivist of the PBS American Masters film EAMES: The Architect and the Painter (2011). She also associate-produced American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco (2013), and the acclaimed HBO film Regarding Susan Sontag (2014). Between 2012 and 2014, Arwen worked on five 30-minute science and technology documentaries for San Francisco's PBS member station KQED, on subjects ranging from reawakening extinct species to the new era of space exploration. Her short documentary Stuffed took viewers into the lives and homes of compulsive hoarders to better understand our connection to the things we own. She is an SF Bay Area native and a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she studied documentary film with Jon Else (The Day After Trinity), Debbie Hoffmann and Frances Reid (The Times of Harvey Milk). Arwen was editor of the punk magazine Maximum Rock'n'Roll from 1998 to 2004. She also writes for magazines, radio, and film.