Sexual violence against women of color in the 40s went largely unpunished and a new film aims to shed light on one of the most courageous figures from the era
"Taylor’s outspokenness then was a courageous anomaly...The film is a haunting, damning unpacking of history that also reminds us how little progress we’ve made."
[42 mins. 21 secs.] In the second segment, filmmaker Nancy Buirski returns. Nancy was last on Episode 346 where she discussed her last documentary By Sidney Lumet. Nancy is back with a new documentary, The Rape of Recy Taylor, which had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival and its US premiere at the New York Film Festival. Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper, was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. Common in Jim Crow South, few women spoke up in fear for their lives. Not Recy Taylor, who bravely identified her rapists. The NAACP sent its chief rape investigator Rosa Parks, who rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice. The film is currently enjoying a theatrical role at the Laemmle Monica Center in Los Angeles and will be doing the same at the IFC Center in NYC beginning this Friday, December 15th.
"Enraging, and eye-opening, the beginning of the antidote for how black women’s lives get erased in America. Tells a story that we should recognize as epic"
Larry Mantle and KPCC film critics Claudia Puig, Peter Rainer, and Charles Solomon review this weekend’s new movie releases.
“The mythology around her was that she was this tired seamstress who just didn’t want to change her seat on the bus,” says the film’s director, Nancy Buirski, referring to the 1955 event that turned Parks into a civil-rights icon. But that doesn’t square with the woman we meet here, 11 years before — when Parks, long an activist, investigated sexual assault for the NAACP. The organization sent her to the small town of Abbeville, Ala., to interview Taylor, a black wife and mother who had been gang-raped by six white men and defied the warnings of her gun-wielding attackers to stay silent.
"In The Rape of Recy Taylor, documentarian Nancy Buirski assembles a collage of interviews, texts, music, and archival images (including excerpts of race movies) to tell the story of Taylor and Parks in the immediate wake of the crime and during its very long aftermath. The result is a striking hybrid: at once impressionistic and argumentative, focused on individuals but also alert to the role, frequently unheralded, that women played in the civil-rights movement. Not to be missed." - The Nation Magazine
THE EVENT Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival
THE DEAL The 10th annual edition of the festival, which begins Thursday, features a wide range of recent films that you may have missed, including “High School 9-1-1,” about a Connecticut town whose only ambulance service is run by teenagers; “The Rape of Recy Taylor,” a salute to a black rape survivor who in 1944 dared to publicly accuse six white men of the crime; and Susan Froemke’s “The Opera House,” a deep dive into 133 years of New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Many screenings feature Q&A sessions with the filmmakers.
INFO Though Dec. 4 at the Bay Street Theater, 1 Bay St., Sag Harbor. Tickets are $15; passes are $150; 631-237-8055, ht2ff.com
"Taylor’s rape is the subject of a new documentary that coincides with a wave of sexual assault and harassment accusations against powerful men. But in 1944, obtaining justice for a black woman in the segregated South was nearly impossible."
The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. NAACP members vote to select NAACP Image Awards winners from nominees in television, music literature, and film.
Outstanding Documentary (Film)
“I Called Him Morgan” (Submarine Deluxe/Filmrise)
“STEP” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities” (Firelight Films)
“The Rape of Recy Taylor” (Augusta Films)
“Whose Streets?” (Magnolia Pictures)
"Taylor’s legacy can be seen in the women speaking up now about sexual harassment of all kinds, most recently Alabama women who on the surface have little in common with a poor black sharecropper from decades ago."
"I would just say just make your film and don’t let anybody tell you no. I’d also would advise them to look at the best work out there. Look at the films that help you solve your problems, be inspired by them." - Nancy Buirski
Listen to a stunning interview with "The Rape of Recy Taylor" director Nancy Buirski with Stan West, a roving culture reporter for 1490 AM.
From the director of of the highly-acclaimed "The Loving Story" comes another dramatic tale of racial conflict. In 1944, six young White men raped 24-year-old mother Recy Taylor in Alabama. Rather than stay silent, Taylor spoke up against her attackers. With the help of the NAACP and chief investigator Rosa Parks, Taylor waged a battle for justice that is powerfully brought to life through archival footage.
The Museum of Modern Art
Every year there are films that resonate far beyond a theatrical release—if they manage to find their way to a commercial screen at all—or film festival appearance. Their significance can be attributed to a variety of factors, from structure to subject matter to language, but these films are united in their lasting impact on the cinematic art form. For this annual series, the Department of Film combs through major studio releases and the top film festivals in the world, selecting influential, innovative films made in the past 12 months that we believe will stand the test of time. Whether bound for awards glory or destined to become a cult classic, each of these films is a contender for lasting historical significance, and any true cinephile will want to catch them on the big screen.
Organized by the Department of Film.
"It's an ugly truth that needs to be told-- and, it was told beautifully. This film will erupt a plethora of emotions: sadness, empathy and anger. But it will also enlighten by bringing notice to an atrocious crime that is all too common."