A Crime on the Bayou

Director: Nancy Buirski Run Time: 89 min. Release Year: 2021

Starring: Gary Duncan, Lolis Eric Elie, Richard Sobol, Robert A. Collins

Country: United States
Language: English

About the film:

Official Selection of DOC NYC 2020.

In 1966 in a swampy strip of land south of New Orleans, a young Black fisherman named Gary Duncan tries to break up a fight between white and black teenagers outside a newly integrated school. He gently lays his hand on a white boy’s arm. That night police arrest him for assault on a minor.

A young Jewish attorney, Richard Sobol, leaves his prestigious D.C. firm to volunteer in New Orleans. With his help, Duncan bravely stands up to a racist legal system powered by a white supremacist boss to challenge his unfair arrest. Their fight goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and a lifelong friendship is forged.

About the filmmaker:

Prior to her work as a director, producer and writer of documentaries, Nancy Buirski was the Foreign Picture Editor at The New York Times, garnering the paper its first Pulitzer Prize in photography. Her work as a filmmaker shines a spotlight on lesser known figures in history, beginning with her directorial debut on the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage. The Loving Story, won an Emmy, a Peabody, was shortlisted for the Academy Awards, and inspired the 2016 narrative feature Loving.

Her documentaries have screened at film festivals around the world. Afternoon of a Faun on French ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq screened at NYFF and Berlin, By Sidney Lumet on one of the most influential directors in the history of cinema, premiered at Cannes 2015, and her fourth feature, The Rape of Recy Taylor, won the Human Rights Film Network Award at the 2017 Venice Film Festival. Buirski also founded and ran the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

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Trailer