Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018)

RaMELL ROSS

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB

USA, 2018Screenplay by , RaMell Ross.  Cinematography by RaMell Ross.  Produced by , , RaMell Ross.  Music by , , Film Editing by RaMell Ross. 

A number of title cards appear on screen throughout this experimental, visual tone poem, in which RaMell Ross captures his impressions of the people of the titular Alabama county, and one of them reads “What is the orbit of our dreaming?”  Many of the images we see are dreamy in a film that has very little concrete narrative; there are two young men, and , whose passage into adulthood is charted, but for the most part the film is made up of observations that aim to subvert the usual manner in which African Americans are presented in the media by attempting to allow the participants on screen to exist from there own point of view.  Where films might give in to stereotypes and the news media might emphasize sensationalism or worse, what we have here are families in neighbourhoods, honest struggle, kinship and support.  A film that will enter a deeper significance with the passing of the years, this is a powerful work that is well worth taking a look at.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Documentary Feature

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