When Oprah Winfrey read Tony Morrison's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved, she was completely taken in and immediately decided to purchase the film rights. For ten years she developed the project as its producer, and when the cameras rolled in the summer of 1997, she was also its star as Sethe, the former slave forced to make a terrible choice in the years immediately after the Civil War. This journal of Winfrey's efforts to bring Beloved to the screen is timed to coincide with the release of the movie (see Feature Films below).
"My original intention in making Beloved was the same as Toni Morrison's intention in writing the book," Winfrey writes. "I wanted people to be able to feel deeply on a very personal level what it meant to be a slave, what slavery did to a people, and also to be liberated by that knowledge." In journal entries written on the film set, she shares her many reactions to being part of this movie, from nervousness over whether her acting will meet the demands of the director to extreme gratitude to her fellow actors and the crew for their vision and talent. This is a fascinating look into the heart and soul of Beloved. Photographs by Ken Regan capture the mood on the set and the feel of the movie.