21 Years Later, George King Nears Completion Of Lonnie Holley Film

Dish of the Receiver, c 1995, Birmingham, AL. Destroyed when Holly’s two-acre ‘art environment’ was bulldozed under.
Credit William Arnett

Filmmaker George King won a Peabody for his audio history series “Will The Circle Be UnBroken?” in 1998. And just around that time, he started working on a film about renowned artist and musician Lonnie Holley. The documentary is almost complete.

“It tells a larger story in that it’s a classic southern tale of an African American man dealing with many of adversities that have confronted black folks in the south for hundreds of years,”  explained George King in an interview with “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes.

Holley currently resides in Atlanta and has a remarkable story. The documentary follows Holley through his artistic practice, as he tells stories of his early life in poverty, his philosophies on life and how he developed an appreciation of discarded objects and garbage, the materials for his work.

Holley is represented by major galleries, and in the midst of his prolific art career, he put out nationally heralded albums on Atlanta based record label Dust to Digital.

“One of the things as a documentary filmmaker is don’t fall in love with your material,” said King. “That’s why I’m trying to fire myself as the editor of this project because I’m close to it.”

King expects the film to be finished in 2018.