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Award-winning photographer and filmmaker RaMell Ross offers a refreshingly direct approach to documentary with his Academy Award–nominated directorial debut, an inspired and intimate portrait of a place and its people. Hale County This Morning, This Evening follows Daniel Collins and Quincy Bryant, two young Black 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. The mundane and the monumental, birth and death, the quotidian and the sublime are combined to communicate the region’s deep culture, showing the consequences of race as a social construct while offering a testament to dreaming despite the odds. Ross creates a lyrical form of portraiture that ruptures racist aesthetic frameworks that have historically constricted the expression of African American men on screen.
“At every juncture, Ross elects for ambiguity and poses a question to the viewer to answer how black bodies are viewed, encouraging the audience to perform the labour of challenging their expectations.” —Melissa Vincent, The Globe and Mail