American Masters: Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel
Airs Monday, April 2, 2012 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Credit: Courtesy of Atlanta History Center
"Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel" engages leading historians, biographers and personal friends to reveal a complex woman who experienced profound identity shifts during her life and struggled with the two great issues of her day: the changing role of women and the liberation of African Americans.
A charismatic force until a tragic accident led to her death at age 48, Mitchell rebelled against the stifling social restrictions placed on women: as an unconventional tomboy, a defiant debutante, a brazen flapper, one of Georgia’s first female newspaper reporters, and, later, as a philanthropist who risked her life to fund African-American education.
Emmy®-winning executive producer/writer Pamela Roberts uses reenactments based on Mitchell’s personal letters and journals to show how her upbringing and romantic relationships influenced the creation of "Gone With the Wind."
The film also explores Scarlett and Rhett’s place as two of the world’s greatest lovers and the public’s initial reception to the book and David O. Selznick’s 1939 epic film – from racial lightning rod to model for survival.
“Margaret Mitchell was always a writer and always a rebel,” says Roberts. “She was captivating and complex. She took chances every day of her life, and she changed the world with her one book, Gone With the Wind. Only Margaret Mitchell could have created Scarlett O’Hara.”
2012 marks the 75th anniversary of Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize win for the only book published during her lifetime. "Gone With the Wind’s" lasting popularity seems permanently etched in the American cultural landscape.
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