ABFF 2012: Best Films at the Festival
These must-see movies tackle a gamut of topics from Jamaican gang life to our soul food addiction.
Soul Food Junkies may have a strong rival in the race for best doc with S. Epatha Merkerson's The Contradictions of Fair Hope, a film that explores the history of "benevolent societies" that formed in the South to help freed slaves avoid "abject hunger, illness and fear of a pauper's grave." Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, the film focuses on one of the last societies in Fair Hope, Ala.
Indications are that this is a compelling portrait of a little-known aspect of black culture that has evolved in troubling ways through the years. Merkerson, talking to WNYC radio about the movie a few months ago, described how the tradition has morphed into a week of partying that also features "various and sundry things." It's a must-listen podcast. Filmgoers can catch screenings on Friday and Saturday.
Brett Johnson is associate editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.