The first trailer for Netflix’s documentary film Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold is here, and it promises an intimate, compassionate look into the life of one of the most influential modern writers.
Didion published her first novel in 1963, and followed that with celebrated work after celebrated work. She is also known for her narratively complex, brutally honest journalism. From the film’s official synopsis:
Didion guides us through the sleek literati scene of New York in the 1950s and early ’60s, when she wrote for Vogue; her return to her home state of California for two turbulent decades; the writing of her seminal books, including Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It as It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer, and The White Album; her film scripts, including The Panic in Needle Park; her view of 1980s and ’90s political personalities; and the meeting of minds that was her long marriage to writer John Gregory Dunne. She reflects on writing about her reckoning with grief after Dunne’s death, in The Year of Magical Thinking (winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction), and the death of their daughter Quintana Roo, in Blue Nights.
The documentary will directed by Griffin Dunne, an actor and director, and the nephew of Joan Didion. It will feature commentary from Harrison Ford, Vanessa Redgrave and Anna Wintour, among others. As you can probably guess from the synopsis, it will focus not just on Didion’s writing, but also on the two terrible tragedies of Didion’s life: losing her husband and her daughter in the span of just two years.
Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold releases exclusively on Netflix on Oct. 27. Watch the trailer above, and find out more about the film here.