Independent Lens: HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING (PBS)
If John Coltrane’s Alabama stands as one of the most iconic artistic expressions capturing the mournful horrors and tragedies of Civil Rights-era Alabama, RaMell Ross’s Hale County, This Morning This Evening stands as an equally brilliant articulation of place marked by the intimately beautiful yet quotidian dimensions of black Alabamians’ daily lives. A photographer by training, Ross’s rich artistry is on display in every frame as he harkens back to the aesthetics of early documentary form. Ever patient and gentle with his shots and subjects, Ross continually juxtaposes the quiet and raucous, the painful and joyful, and the gorgeous and haunting landscapes of the Alabama Black Belt. We experience humans vitally alive in churches and locker rooms, solo musicians sharing their souls at morning and night, and even a glorious two-minutes-and-45-seconds of a young child running back-and-forth that is pure joy to behold. We see the extraordinariness of a solar eclipse, but also the mundane sunrises and sunsets and thunderstorms and butterflies that dominate this rural landscape. Hale County is a film about nothing yet everything. For a glorious rumination on and a welcome window into the lives and spirit of African Americans far too rarely represented in film and media, Hale County, This Morning This Evening receives a Peabody.
Executive Producers: Danny Glover, Susan Rockefeller, Tony Tabatznik, Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen. Executive Producers (Field of Vision): Laura Poitras, Charlotte Cook. Co-Executive Producer: Lynda Weinman. Associate Producer: Sarah D'hanens. Producers: RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim. Director: RaMell Ross. Writer: RaMell Ross. Co-Writer: Maya Krinsky. Editor: RaMell Ross. Edit Team: Robb Moss, Joslyn Barnes, Maya Krinsky. Sound/Music: Alex Somers, Scott Alario, Forest Kelley.