Southern Rites Hot Docs Screening, Fox Theatre

9:45 PM - 11:30 PM

FOX THEATRE Toronto, ON M4E 1G2


In 2009, The New York Times Magazine published filmmaker and acclaimed photographer Gillian Laub’s controversial images of Montgomery County High School’s racially segregated proms. A media furor ensued and under extreme pressure, the Georgian town was forced to finally integrate its teenagers in 2010. Laub returned camera in hand to document the changes, only to stumble upon a series of events far more indicative of race relations in the Deep South. The current chief of police was running to be the county’s first African American sheriff, while an older white resident stood trial for shooting a black youth. Intimate conversations with both the defendant, the victim’s family and the would-be sheriff are cut together with locals whose opinions about the town’s “dirty laundry” map a nuanced, deeply complex look at tradition and the push for change. Disturbing and delicately layered, Southern Rites reveals the truly glacial pace of progress. - Myrocia Watamaniuk