On Tuesday, March 12, 2013, Scribe Video Center will host S. Epatha Merkerson and Rockell Metcalf who will screen their film, The Contradictions of Fair Hope, at International House in West Philadelphia. The event is part of Scribe’s Producer’s Forum Series, which brings distinguished independent filmmakers to Philadelphia.
Ms. Merkerson calls her film, “a fascinating albeit disturbing story of what happens when a community steeped in mutual care and concern loses its way and begins to put the ‘almighty dollar’ ahead of benevolence.”
Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and with an original score by Christian McBride, The Contradictions of Fair Hope examines a little-known aspect of American history; how newly-freed slaves throughout the South formed “benevolent societies” to respond to abject hunger, illness, and the fear of a pauper’s grave.
The documentary traces the development, struggles, and contributions of one of the last remaining African-American benevolent societies, known as “The Fair Hope Benevolent Society,” in Uniontown, Alabama.