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Review: Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

By Jenny Needham

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is a succinct look into the life of the prolific sci-fi writer.  This film is a mere 65 minutes and I feared this wouldn’t be enough time to cover her extensive career and personal life. The film primarily focuses on her working life, using bits of personal life only to contextualise her work which I think works to the films credit.

I must confess, I went into this knowing very little of Ursula and had no personal connection to her work, so it is to the films credit that I was immersed from the get go. The audience hears from a mixture of talking heads – from her family to other writers such as Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood. This gives an interesting mix of personal and professional opinions to help the story along. I think the biggest treat of this film is hearing from Ursula herself and getting inside her mind. Hearing her analyse her intentions behind her work and defend the legitimacy of sci-fi as a genre is a joy to watch.

I felt this documentary only scratched the surface of Ursula’s work, it felt very much like an introductory level film – which was perfect for me as someone with very little knowledge, however I do wonder how rewarding this would be for a big Ursula K. Le Guin fan.

Jenny Needham is a first year Film Studies student at University of Sussex, gaining experience in film reviewing. 

Catch our second screening of Worlds of Ursula K Le Guin this Thursday at 7pm, Towner Art Gallery.