Actor-director Griffin Dunne (Fierce People) has set out to develop the first ever documentary about the life and career of his beloved aunt, author Joan Didion Dunne, through the help of Kickstarter. The project is titled We Tell Ourselves Stories to Live, a famous Didion quote that has characterized much of her writing career, particularly her famous real-life account of her husband and daughter’s deaths in The Year of Magical Thinking. Dunne has said that he hopes to celebrate his “Aunt Joan’s” impact as one of the greatest American writers of her generation and beyond.
According to Dunne, Didion writes “in a way that people can put their own lives into context.” Her voice alone will play a large part in the documentary, as the 79-year-old author will read aloud selected passages from her various award winning books, set to archival footage and personal photos. According to Dunne and his co-director Susanne Rostock, they want to “honor Joan’s language, to visualize the stories she tells, to put her words to picture.” The film will also feature tributes to Didion from her close friends, peers, and those she has influenced, including Patti Smith, Anna Wintour, and Bret Easton Ellis, among others.
Dunne has said that he’s confounded as to why a documentary has yet to be made about Didion. In order to fund the passion project, Dunne has launched a Kickstarter campaign. Since last Wednesday, it has raised over $47,000, over half of Dunne and Rostock’s goal of $80,000. Watch the video below that features Dunne and his overall vision for the documentary. Those who donate to the campaign will receive incentives that include Didion’s novels, a pair of her iconic sunglasses, a visit to the set, and more.