RaMell Ross is seeking 'visual justice' for 'Hale County'

Tre'vell Anderson, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Also, "Killer of Sheep" by Charles Burnett. When that film came out during that time and the way it allowed someone to look at a community ... it is monotonous, no profoundness. That is really effective. It changes people's understanding of things.

Q: When you found out that you got accepted to Sundance, what was your reaction? Did you ever think it was possible?

A: No, 'cause when I started to film, I didn't intend for it to be this big. I knew that it was very conceptual and abstract. I had no intention, (but) a turning point in the film for me was when I met Joslyn Barnes, who works with Danny Glover at Louverture Films. I really connected with her. She understood everything that I was saying, and beyond. Then I met Robb Moss, the chair of the environmental and visual arts department at Harvard, and Maya Krinsky, who's a critic.

I edited the film, but that was the editing team, and that was where the film really became accessible. It really became fractured, but also where a person could engage with it. Before they came and we had conversations, I was dead set on it being way more of a Rorschach test of the black experience.

I was hoping that it would get in (to Sundance) because I felt that if I could get this film into this platform, then I can talk about a way to visualize the African American experience that can actually provide a break from the traditional way of visualizing and therefore provide some visual justice to society.

Q: So what's next for you? Do you want to continue making documentary films? Do you want to go into narrative-based films?

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A: I want to do both. I definitely consider myself, for lack of a better term in (a) category, an artist. So I have some smaller projects I'm going to start and some text-based projects. I have some film ideas that I'm starting to pursue. But I'm not so much interested in doing the same thing with the same voice. I don't imagine the next film that I make being as reflexive as this film is. I imagine it sort of advancing the way of looking, or even bringing this idea into a form that is even more fluid, and less fractured. I don't know. I'm definitely not pressed to make a film. I'm not pressed to take photos. I'm kind (of) trying to figure out the best way to articulate things and the best form for each of them.

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