An Incandescent Documentary of Black Life

Quincy Bryant in Hale County This Morning, This Evening (IDIOM Film/Courtesy RaMell Ross & Cinema Guild)
In Hale County This Morning, This Evening, photographer RaMell Ross has crafted a debut film of exquisite visual poetry.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O ne of last year’s more powerful and affecting films is the 70-minute documentary Hale County This Morning, This Evening, a pointillist portrait of black life in Alabama in which a series of bright little moments together form a broad and gorgeous tableau.

In his first film, photographer RaMell Ross, who is on the faculty at Brown University, eschews both narrative structure and issues-oriented social commentary in favor of a hypnotic array of images and sounds that leave the viewer to draw his own conclusions, or, better yet, to simply bathe in the feeling being created. Two totems — the cross and

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