Posted by Nick Poyner on January 24, 2012 at 10:33 pm
Honestly, I don’t know much about what’s happening at Sundance. I’m not there; I overhear stuff; I do care. But I won’t get to experience it until later this year anyway so…There are a few things that you cannot ignore. One of those is a two-minute standing ovation.
Slaver By Another Name received just that. The film was screened at Sundance was followed by a Q & A with director Sam Pollard. The film was adapted from the novel Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II which won the Pulitzer prize. And apparently it’s incredible.
Pollard has worked tirelessly in Hollywood for the last 30 plus years, working with topics from Mike Tyson to Jim Crow, and culminating in a Spike Lee collaboration that resulted in an Academy Award nomination (4 Little Girls). But this may be his crowning achievement. This may be where everything finally comes together. Although he has a lot of knowledge and experience with African American rights and struggles, this may be the one that catches people’s attention.
I am not particularly knowledgeable about Pollard’s work to date, but Slavery By Another Name isn’t just another run of the mill documentary. It tackles the issues of post-emancipation slavery in a way that may make people squirm in their seats. Uncomfortable people is often the result of no holds barred story telling. But it also seems that it’s something that should be brought to the forefront of modern history, not glossed over. Apparently, it takes place right after the 1865 freeing of the slaves and how many were forced back into working for nothing in both the north and the south.
One thing is for sure: Pollard will be watched from now on as his film continues to get more and more acclaim and viewing. I, for one, am looking forward to it.