Coming off strong showings at both the Venice and New York Film Festivals, Nancy Buirski’s Augusta Films has set an awards-qualifying run for the filmmaker’s new documentary “The Rape of Recy Taylor.” The film, which debuted at Venice last month and went on to screen at NYFF, will open in New York and Los Angeles this December to qualify for the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
In a statement, Buirski said, “We were stunned by reviews that not only recognized the hidden story of black women physically abused in Jim Crow South, but by how powerfully our film resonates today. From a president who gropes women to white supremacy in Charlottesville to women who courageously speak up against predatory celebrities and mogals, this film is smack in the public square. Though we’re throwing our hat in the ring late, we felt this coud not wait! An Academy run is an invigorating way to draw attention to Recy Taylor and her courage.”
The film tells the story of Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper, who was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. While such crimes were common in the Jim Crow South, most victims didn’t speak out — or even think of pressing charges — but Taylor was different, immediately turning to the police after her assault.
What followed was a violation of a different kind, as Taylor and her family were subject to further abuse and mistreatment from the very people in charge of protecting them.
In our NYFF review of the film, we wrote: “Buirski’s latest documentary, a worthy companion to her lauded ‘The Loving Story,’ tells Taylor’s story in expressive detail, aided by Buirski’s creative approach to pulling together material. Composed of vintage footage from the era, new interviews with Taylor’s loved ones and scholars alike, plus scenes from vintage race films (including a number from the prolific African American director Oscar Micheaux), ‘The Rape of Recy Taylor’ works as both artifact and indictment. Bolstered further by a stirring soundtrack that includes Dinah Washington songs and traditional spirituals, Buirski’s film gives voice to Taylor and others like her, often letting their own art and word tell the story, hard as it may be to hear.”
Written and directed by Buirski, “The Rape of Recy Taylor” was produced by Buirski, Claire L. Chandler, Beth Hubbard, and Susan Margolin. It is co-produced by Transform Films. It is inspired by Daneille L. McGuire’s “At the Dark End of the Street.” ICM Partners is representing the film for all rights. Check out the film’s poster below.