Visions of the Spirit

A Portrait of Alice Walker

A film by Elena Featherston

1989 | 58 minutes | Color | 16mm/DVD | Order No. 99215


This intimate and inspiring portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker explores the compassion, insight and strength that have made her one of the most admired women in the United States. Filmed at Walker’s California home, in her Georgia hometown, and on location with the film crew of THE COLOR PURPLE, VISIONS OF THE SPIRIT shows us Walker as mother, daughter, philosopher, activist and of course, writer. Featherston’s film explores the roots of Walker’s southern African American feminist consciousness through in-depth conversations with the writer and members of her family. African American feminist literary scholar Barbara Christian places Walker in the history of African American literature, archival footage of the civil rights movement provides background for Walker’s political vision. A perfect introduction to the writer for literature, African American and women’s studies classes, libraries and general audiences.


"**** Excellent. Gives true insight."

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide

"**** Entrancing. Displays warmth and a down-to-earth quality that coincides with the author's writings. This wonderful portrait is a mixture of beautiful pacing and personal artistic vision."

American Film and Video Association Evaluations


  • American Film and Video Festival, Red Ribbon
  • Nat'l Black Programming Consortium, Prized Pieces
  • Global Village Documentary Festival
  • Black American Cinema, Berlin


Elena Featherston

Jacqueline Elena Featherston is an educator, writer, and visionary who challenges social and political inequity on multiple fronts.

In addition to her work with city and educational institutions, Featherston conducts workshops and seminars throughout the country. She helps a variety of organizations identify and effectively respond to the unique tensions and strengths of multicultural environments. Featherston especially values opportunities to lead internalized oppression workshops groups who have historically been excluded from access to the benefits of mainstream society.

She is the founder of Featherston & Associates, a collaborative group of anti-racist and cross-cultural consultants. Featherston was a co-founder of The Institute for MultiRacial Justice, an organization formed to support alliance building among communities of color, and with Dr. Jean Ishibashi, she co-founded New Ways to Learn, dedicated to increasing effectiveness of educators in multicultural classrooms.

Featherston is the producer and director of ALICE WALKER: VISIONS OF THE SPIRIT, an award-winning documentary film. She is also the editor of the groundbreaking anthology SKIN DEEP: WOMEN WRITING ON COLOR, CULTURE AND IDENTITY (Crossing Press). Her writings have appeared in numerous magazines and journals; her most recent paper, with Dr. Ishibashi, was published in "Identifying Race and Transforming Whiteness in the Classroom" (V. Lean and J. Helfand, Peter Lange Publishers, 2004).

Featherston now divides her time between speaking, consulting, training and work on "Weaving Change: A Guide to Personal and Political Transformation," a workbook that fuses art, politics and spirituality as critical tools for overcoming internalized oppression. (8/14)

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