2017 - USA - 76 MINUTES
A FILM BY RAMELL ROSS
Composed of intimate and unencumbered moments of people in a community, HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING allows the viewer an emotive impression of the Historic South - trumpeting the beauty of life and consequences of the social construction of race, while simultaneously a testament to dreaming - despite the odds.
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.
“This fascinating documentary is a series of beautifully composed, very short – from five seconds to three minutes – and highly personal scenes.” - Daniel Garber at the Movies
HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING "an extraordinary film about ordinary lives... a blast of pure visual poetry from photographer turned doc maker RaMell Ross, who shot more than 1,300 hours... distilling his work to an almost surreal 76 mins". - Toronto Star
HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING "expertly visualizes the complexities of black American life... The fact that the film has snagged a spot on the Academy Award shortlist for best doc feature is evidence of its unique prowess" - Globe and Mail
“subtly affecting and boldly ambitious” - NOW