Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 2018. Louverture Films. Screenplay by Maya Krinsky, RaMell Ross. Cinematography by RaMell Ross. Produced by Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim, RaMell Ross. Music by Scott Alario, Forest Kelley, Alex Somers. Film Editing by RaMell Ross. Academy Awards 2018. Gotham Awards 2018. Independent Spirit Awards 2018.
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, Quincy Bryant and Daniel Collins, 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.