Hale County, This Morning, This Evening
Los Angeles Filmforum and MEMORY present
Hale County, This Morning, This Evening, directed by RaMell Ross
Thursday September 20, 2018, 7:00pm
At the Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles CA 90012
Director RaMell Ross in person! In conversation after the film with Jheanelle Brown, co-curator of Black Radical Imagination
An inspired and intimate portrait of a place and its people, Hale County This Morning, This Evening looks at the lives of Daniel Collins and Quincy Bryant, two young African American men from rural Hale County, Alabama, over the course of five years. Collins attends college in search of opportunity while Bryant becomes a father to an energetic son in an open-ended, poetic form that privileges the patiently observed interstices of their lives. The audience is invited to experience the mundane and monumental, birth and death, the quotidian and the sublime. These moments combine to communicate the region’s deep culture and provide glimpses of the complex ways the African American community’s collective image is integrated into America’s visual imagination.
In his directorial debut, award-winning photographer and director RaMell Ross offers a refreshingly direct approach to documentary that fills in the gaps between individual black male icons. 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 offering a testament to dreaming despite the odds.
RaMell Ross (Director, producer, writer, cinematographer, editor) earned a BA in both English and Sociology from Georgetown University and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. His photographs have been exhibited internationally and his writing has appeared in such outlets as the NY Times and Walker Arts Center. He was part of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2015 and a New Frontier Artist in Residence in the MIT Media Lab. In 2016, he was a finalist for the Aperture Portfolio Prize, winner of an Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship Grant and a Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow. In early 2017, he was selected for Rhode Island Foundation's Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Artist Fellowship. RaMell is currently on faculty at Brown University’s Visual Arts Department. HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING is his first feature documentary. https://www.ramellross.com/
"Pure cinematic poetry... poses a quietly radical challenge to assumptions about race, class and the aesthetics of filmmaking." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
"It’s not every day that you witness a new cinematic language being born... Hale County traverses years, encompasses tragedy and beauty, all in just 76 minutes." - Bilge Ebiri, The Village Voice
"Void of the traditional struggle on which documentaries about the black experience often center, Hale County ruptures conventional—and often stereotypical—depictions of black people to create an experience that is simple, complex and revelatory." - Tre’vell Anderson, The Los Angeles Times
"One of the best documentaries of 2018... It must be seen on the big screen... Hale County This Morning, This Evening emerges sweeping and grand, an elusive, awesome American fable." - Andy Crump, Paste Magazine
Tickets: $12 general; $6 for students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. General admission available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3606135 or at the door. Student and member tickets at available at the door.
Special thanks to Tom Sveen, Cinema Guild.
Hale County, This Morning, This Evening
2018, HD, color, sound, 76 minutes
RaMell Ross – Director, Producer, Writer Cinematographer, Editor
Joslyn Barnes & Su Kim – producers; Maya Krinsky – co-writer
Music: Alex Sommers, Scott Alario, Forest Kelley
Sundance Film Festival 2018 - Winner U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Creative Vision
Montclair Film Festival 2018 - Winner Best Documentary Bruce Sinofsky Prize
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2018 - Winner Grand Jury Prize
Bildrausch Film Festival Basel 2018 - Special Mention International Competition 2018
AFI Docs 2018
Champs-Élysées Film Festival 2018
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018
Documental Ambulante 2018
Dok.fest International Documentary Film Festival Munich 2018
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.