In 2017 we’ve seen a handful of stories, in film and television, attempt to bring our country’s history of racism to the screen. Some have been pulled off with searing authenticity and urgency, like Raoul Peck’s fantastic I Am Not Your Negro, while others have failed to tackle America’s history of anti-black violence with clarity and nuance (looking at you Detroit). Dee Rees’ Mudbound is about to join that former category, a sprawling historical epic about two Mississippi Delta families, one black, one white, during the Jim Crow era.
Dee Rees’ short film Pariah debuted at the Sundance Film Festival 10 years ago, followed shortly after by her stunning 2011 debut feature of the same name, and a slew of Emmy wins for her HBO film Bessie. She’s been a talent to keep an eye on, but with Mudbound, a powerful period drama pulsing with urgency, she’s on her way to becoming a household name.