Based on extensive historical research and embodying a strong sense of place, the films of Kevin Jerome Everson combine scripted and documentary moments with a rigorous formalism, with his filmic subjects inspired directly by gestures, tasks, and conditions of working class African American life. Avoiding traditional strategies of cinematic realism, Everson instead focuses on actions and statements, which are then abstracted into theatrical gestures, re-editing or restaging archival footage, and incorporating non-actor performers enacting fictional scenarios based on their own lives. In these films, historical observations intermesh with contemporary narratives.
Everson appears in person to present The Island of St. Matthews, a feature-length generational portrait of the citizens and surrounding landscape of Westport, Mississippi, a community frequently ravaged by flood, haunted by lost memories. (2013, 64 min, digital)
Please note: This program is first in a two-part series. The second program, Sound That: Recent Short Films, screens May 20.