It Was the Nightingale
The Unreliable Story of Ford Madox Ford
1h 33min | English | Documentary
Director: Paul Lewis
It Was the Nightingale: The Unreliable Story of Ford Madox Ford is the first feature-length film on the life and work of one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.
Ford wrote over eighty books, including the masterpieces, The Good Soldier and Parade's End. He survived poverty, being blown up in the First World War and the miseries of passion to become perhaps the greatest writer you’ve never heard of.
"This is a brilliant film. I have just finished reading it."
Michael Schmidt, Carcanet Press
" I have an image of Ford, sitting at a table in the Celllier du Midi, with a large glass of red and a smile on his face."
Robin Ellis, Actor in BBC's Poldark and The Good Soldier
"He kept the doors of his soul open so that we may walk in."
— Wyndham Lewis
It Was the Nightingale is the first-ever feature documentary on the author Ford Madox Ford
Estimated Running Time:
Virginia, New York, London
Subterracon Films, Virginia, USA
July 2011 - November 2017
The Estate of Janice Biala & the Tworkov Foundation
The Ford Madox Ford Estate & Michael Schmidt
Principal On-Camera Participants:
Max Saunders: Professor, Kings College London
Sara Haslam: Senior Lecturer, The Open University
Paul Skinner: Independent Scholar and Writer
Alan Judd: Novelist / Ford Biographer
Seamus O'Malley: Ford Scholar
Joseph Wiesenfarth: Professor Emeritus, University Wisconsin-Madison
Hermine Ford: Painter
Mary Gordon: Novelist
Janice Biala: Painter
Nathan Asch: Poet / Novelist
Ford's story brings together the great names in twentieth century American and European literature, figures such as James Joyce, Henry James, Stephen Crane, Joseph Conrad, Ezra Pound, Jean Rhys, Ernest Hemingway, H.D., Wyndham Lewis, W.H. Hudson, H.G. Wells, Thomas Hardy and many more. They all have the enormously talented Ford Madox Ford at the center or periphery of their own well-known stories.
The film also features extensive treatment and never-before-seen footage of Ford's last partner, the Jewish-American painter, Janice Biala, footage captured but never released by filmmakers Judith Wechsler and Richard Leacock in Paris in 1993.