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, while providing 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 film 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.
Hale is the same county that photographer Walker Evans and writer James Agee documented in their landmark book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men in the 1930s. Winner Special U.S. Documentary Jury Award for Creative Vision, Sundance Film Festival, and short-listed for the Best Feature Documentary Oscar. 2018, U.S., DCP, 76 minutes. Recommended for 12+.