Elizabeth Spencer, 86, is a quietly sophisticated woman, reared on a Mississippi plantation in the midst of the Depression. Her small dark eyes twinkle like a 17-year-old who has just discovered a box of forbidden chocolates, as she recounts the many decades she lived outside of the South, and the vivid voices and memories of her childhood that accompanied her wherever she went.
Landscapes of the Heart: The Elizabeth Spencer Documentary Project offers a personal window upon an extraordinary woman’s life and work, viewed through the prism of the Southern lineage that defined her. It is one woman’s personal reflections on class, race, and the changing role of women during a defining century in the history of the South, and the nation. We learn Spencer’s unique family story, and how her writing about these same issues set her at odds with her father, a deeply religious and politically conservative Mississippi planter and entrepreneur.