Just saw “Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story” at the LRFF and thought: This is a film that ought to be distributed in the public schools. It is a lesson in racism, a film that encapsulates black-white relations in the South with the story of just one brave black man, Booker Wright.
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“Booker’s Place” is also multi-layered, a film about a film and its repercussions: Raymond De Felitta’s documentary about a film his father, Frank De Felitta, made for NBC in 1966. (They don’t make them like they used to: Imagine an hour-long, prime-time documentary on a subject of similar controversy on NBC today.) The older De Felitta, now in his 90s, went to Greenwood, Miss., in 1966 with a film crew to take the temperature of race relations there. He found lots of white people saying they loved their negroes, and one old codger who took the crew through sharecropper cabins to show them how well his negroes lived. Hell, they had propane gas! “We’ve never denied them anything,” the man, Louis, says; the black man says, “Yes, suh!”