Cinematters: NY Social Justice Film Festival 2020 Review: ALWAYS IN SEASON

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

For my second film of the festival, I chose this highly recommended documentary which not only details some of the history of lynching, but also questions whether or not this horrific practice still occurs. Written and directed by Jaqueline Olive (who co-wrote with Don Bernier), Always in Season mostly focuses on the shocking death of seventeen year-old Lennon Lacy, a North Carolina African-American found hanging in what initially appears to be a suicide. However, nearly everyone close to.the young man cannot at all believe Lennon killed himself and some unisual and inconsistent clues of his death reveal possible foul play.

Olive’s film serves as a painful reminder of the attrocities committed again Black people because of racial prejudice. The film recounts these sickening true stories as it reveals details of the Lennon Lacy case and suggests possible suspects and motives. The film also covers a group in Georgia that recreates a historic lynching for public audiences for the sake of education. Olive’s documentary is a revelatory portrait of racism, violence, and injustice that has lasted for generations and continues to exist today.

The film is definitely a harsh and bitter pill to swallow, but one that is necessary to remind the public that racial violence has never completely disappeared from our nation. Olive’s coverage of the Lennon Lacy case is definitely indicative of the injustices that Black Americans continue to face. Even the dismissive reactions to the lynching reenactments reveal a shocking lack of empathy that some white people continue to have towards Black people. Olive’s documentary is an insightful and astute film that calls for justice and reform.

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