If you missed the "Prom Night in Mississippi" screenings at the Oxford Film Festival this year, HBO will be screening the documentary about Charleston High School beginning tonight and playing through August.
Paul Saltzman chose to move into the community and get to know people before filming. He spent close to a year living in the Delta and exploring the cultural context of the segregated prom at CHS. He also worked with the high school students to teach them how to do their "confessionals," which are the close up scenes where students discuss how they feel about the issue.
One disappointment for the film is that the White parents who hold the white-only prom in Batesville are never caught on camera. While the doc remains fairly balanced, it would have been nice to hear them squirm as they try to explain why they don't want their children "mixing" with the Black students.
|Rated TV14: ADULT LANGUAGE|
|Running Time: 89 minutes|
|In 1997, actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for the senior prom at Charleston High School in Mississippi, on one condition: it had to be racially integrated. His offer was ignored. Ten years later, he offered again--and this time, the school board accepted and Charleston High had its first integrated prom...though not without opposition. HBO presents this illuminating film that follows the efforts of students as they prepare for the groundbreaking dance in a Delta town where change does not come easily--and where the Oscar(R)-winning Freeman's generosity ends up fanning flames of racism among several generations of Charleston residents. (TV14) (AL)|
Visit the HBO web site for times.