Lillian. 1993. USA. Directed by David D. Williams. With Lillian Folley, Wilhamenia Dickens. 35mm. 82 min.
A dedicated foster mother to several young children and caregiver to three elderly people who reside in her Virginia home, Lillian Folley embraces the infinite responsibilities that come with caring for those at their most vulnerable. A working-class woman in her mid-50s, Lillian’s endless supply of attention and love emanates from her longtime desire to have a big family. David D. Williams’s docudrama invites viewers to experience his friend Lillian’s busy life over the course of an ordinary day, as she does everything from brushing her granddaughter’s hair while she eats her sugar-coated cereal to putting a pesky real estate agent attempting to sell her house firmly in his place. Unafraid of being opinionated, Lillian maintains an unwavering self-assuredness and sense of humor during challenging conversations about race, faith, and parenting with her social worker, friends, and daughter. Effortlessly adjusting to situations that call for reprimands at one moment and giving comfort the next, Lillian radiates warmth and integrity, especially in her absorbing narration. In her own words, she wishes to be remembered for nothing but what she is, and the film is an affectionate portrait that renders her beautifully.