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Movies That Matter

Southern Rites

This film is a powerful portrayal of how perceptions and politics have divided two towns in southeast Georgia along racial lines for years. 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 the proms 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: old wounds are reopened following the murder of an unarmed young black man by an elderly white town patriarch. Against the backdrop of an historic campaign to elect its first African-American sheriff, the case divides locals along well-worn racial lines and threatens to drag the town back to darker days. The film documents the town's painful struggle to progress while confronting longstanding issues of race, equality and justice, and ultimately asks whether a new generation can make a different future for itself from a difficult past.

More Information

7 p.m. April 13, 2017

Rating: Not Rated

Released: 2015

Run Time: 87 minutes

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Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
3200 Darnell St.
Fort Worth, TX

Showings take place in Auditorium 248.