Mantaray Film

JOYCE CAROL OATES "A Body in the Service of Mind"

Joyce Carol Oates has remained intensely private, until now. Oft described as “America’s foremost woman of letters” her remarkable talents are recognized around the globe. JCO has penned over 100 novels across a variety of genres throughout her award-winning prolific career and continues to publish a book plus more annually.

Swedish director Stig Björkman approached Joyce with his idea to make the first portrait film of her and it took 16 years before she finally agreed. Takes us inside Joyce’s life story back to her childhood and universi- ty years. We learn about societal events that affected her deeply and are evident in her writing, such as the 1960’s riots in Detroit, the tragic Chappaquiddick incident and the life of Marilyn Monroe.

JCO is an ardent observer of American political, social and societal landscapes and changes which evolve through her imagination and take on a new form that reflects the present moment. Much of her writing features young girls and women, people of color, the mistreated and underprivileged. The America depicted in the works of Joyce is a mélange of the ordinary and the extraordinary. Her sight is razor sharp and cunning. Unique candid open look at this exceptional woman and her creative process.


Director: Stig Björkman
Script: Stig Björkman, Dominika Daubenbüchel, Stina Gardell
Cinematographer: Albin Biblom
Editor: Dominika Daubenbüchel
Archive: Frida Neema Järnbert
Producer: Stina Gardell
Executive Producer and Worldwide Sales: Diana Holtzberg, East Village Entertainment 
Release: Worldpremiere at Telluride Film Festival 2021
European & Nordic Release: 2022

With the support of the Creative Europe Programme - MEDIA of the European Union and Swedish Film Institute SFI and Jonas Gardell Produktion

Selected for IFP Project Forum 2017 and Hot Docs Fotum 2018