CIR’s documentary on “racial cleansings” of entire counties, mostly in the South, got the attention of the Village Voice this week. Banished is screening at Film Forum in New York from September 26–October 9.
Williams’s very presence in the all-white communities he documents is a canny litmus test … It doesn’t matter that Williams is Harvard-educated, or that he’s articulate and hip. As our director sits at a kitchen table in Harrison, Arkansas, listening to the local Klan leader matter-of-factly disclose his disdain for blacks, it’s painfully clear that in many small (and large) towns throughout America, the legacy of banishment remains: Black people are not only unwelcome, but unsafe. Just ask the Jena 6.