Distributor: The Cinema Guild
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
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Director: Ramell Ross
2018, USA, 75, Digital, Not Rated
How does one express the reality of individuals whose public image, lives, and humanity originate in exploitation? Photographer and filmmaker RaMell Ross employs the integrity of nonfiction filmmaking and the currency of stereotypical imagery to fill in the gaps between individual black male icons. Hale County This Morning, This Evening is a lyrical innovation to the form of portraiture that boldly ruptures racist aesthetic frameworks that have historically constricted the expression of African American men on film.
In the lives of protagonists Daniel and Quincy, quotidian moments and the surrounding southern landscape are given importance, drawing poetic comparisons between historical symbols and the African American banal. Images are woven together to replace narrative arc with visual movements. As Ross crafts an inspired tapestry made up of time, the human soul, history, environmental wonder, sociology, and cosmic phenomena, a new aesthetic framework emerges that offers a new way of seeing and experiencing the heat, and the hearts of people in the Black Belt region of the U.S. as well far beyond.
RaMell Ross is an artist, filmmaker and writer based in RI and Al. His work has appeared in places like the NY Times, Aperture, Harper’s Magazine,TIME, Oxford American, and the Walker Arts Center. His feature documentary Hale County This Morning, This Evening won a Special Jury Award for Creative Vision at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and has screened at MoMA and Lincoln Center. RaMell double majored in English and Sociology at Georgetown University and teaches in Brown University’s Visual Art Department. Variety called Ross a Top Ten Documentarian to Watch in 2018.