Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Sat Jan 19, 2019 – Sun Jan 20, 2019
Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
Shot over a period of five years, RaMell Ross’s remarkable directorial debut freely mixes forms, footage, and subjects to create an evocation of a place and its inhabitants. As its title, Hale County This Morning, This Evening, suggests, it is firmly rooted in a locale, that of the small-town Hale County, Alabama. It follows two young black men from the region: Daniel Collins, an aspiring college basketball player, and Quincy Bryant, a new father focused on raising his son.
Without sacrificing the necessary intimacy and fidelity required to represent these disparate yet emotionally aligned stories of promise, Ross fashions something incredibly elliptical, focused on the rhythms rather than the specific moments of this milieu. The passage of time is conveyed through montages that place different aspects of life side-by-side, intertitles that tantalize more than they explain, and above all Ross’s striking camerawork, which envisions this impoverished location as a site of possibility and spontaneity. Hale County is ultimately a work deeply imbedded in its place and time, and that it manages to convey both this and an utterly unexpected feeling is more than a little astonishing.