Dazzling and sun-drenched, Hale County This Morning, This Evening is an innovative, impressionistic portrait of contemporary life in Hale County, Alabama. RaMell Ross’ careful and considered feature was filmed over five years and is constructed from fleeting, quotidian moments – church services, basketball practice and family gatherings. Taken as a whole, the film offers an urgent and current political critique, questioning issues of representation and stereotype prevalent in images of Black America, and investigating the reproduction of blackness via film and photography. Ross delivers one of the most important works of non-fiction filmmaking of the year.
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.