“Airing Dirty Linen” — The film and the book
The Hoosier Renaissance Woman, Rev. Delores Thornton, has a new accomplishment to add to her list: she is the writer, director, and producer of a movie. Where’s why you should see Airing Dirty Linen.
The new film Airing Dirty Linen is loosely based on Rev. Delores Thorton’s 2013 novel, Airing Dirty Linen. Rev. Thornton wrote, directed, and produced the film.
It’s an amateur film, in the best sense of the word “amateur.” Of course, most of the people who made the movie were unpaid, including Rev. Thornton herself. At its root, amateur doesn’t quite mean unpaid. It’s derived from the French “out of love.” This film is definitely a work of love. It reflects Rev. Thornton’s passion for telling important stories to multiple audiences. It also reflects the love felt for Rev. Thornton by her family, friends, and members of her community.
The film is loosely based on characters and incidents from the book. you don’t have to read Airing Dirty Linen to enjoy watching Airing Dirty Linen. but you should — it’s a very good book that provides context for the scenes of the movie. It tells the story of four cousins who live together and manage a bed and breakfast in Indianapolis. They have to cope with various scandals that involved their deceased parents and now the cousins try to safeguard the family name. The book tells us more about Philip, Pharis, Eternity, and Nairobi. It tells us about the scandal rocking the small church. But it isn’t necessary to appreciate the film.
The book Airing Dirty Linen is a fine example of African American Christian fiction. It’s a larger genre than many friends of CIC might realize. You probably won’t read about these books in recognized book reviews: they are promoted through word-of-mouth and, in the last decade, through online platforms such as Facebook. (Become friends with Rev. Thornton and you can be one of her “mighty people”!) Rev. Thornton is personally responsible for the health and popularity of African American Christian fiction in Central Indiana: she a publisher, coach and publicist for aspiring authors, and a matriarch for the rich network of African American women’s book clubs that have shaped Indy’s culture for more than a century.
The characters in African American Christian fiction don’t just happen to be Christians and African Americans. they don’t preach to each other. Rather, their faith shapes their decision-making and choices.
The institutions of African American Christianity are important to the characters. Some of the best parts of the film Airing Dirty Linen take place in a church. But it’s not a grand building such as Light of the World, Eastern Star, or St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church. It’s a room in a school set up with moveable chairs. You might recall the lyrics of the great “Papa was a Rollin’ Stone”:
Heard some talk Papa doing some storefront preachin'
Talking about saving souls and all the time leechin'
Dealing in dirt, and stealing in the name of the Lord
Momma just hung her head and said ...
In the film Airing Dirty Laundry, you can get a sense of what a storefront church feels like. It isn’t a documentary, but the experience feels genuine.
On January 10, 6:00-8:00 pm, you can meet Rev. Thornton and her actors. She is hosting an All Black Affair that will honor the actors and sponsors of the film. If you would like to attend the event or get a copy of the movie, contact Rev. Thornton: firstname.lastname@example.org.Tags: African Amercan, fiction, film, Rev. delores Thornton