Stanley Nelson’s new Sundance documentary Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities uses archival photographs and more to tell the complex and powerful story of historically black colleges and universities.
Editor Kim Miille speaks to Filmmaker Magazine about her work on the project. “African Americans overcame oppression and various daunting obstacles to gain an education. It was important to us to let them tell their stories in their own words. We used their letters, articles, interviews and footage throughout the film. We wanted to shine the light on their struggles, joys and achievements,” says Miille. “There is tremendous impact in how you direct the viewer’s attention inside a photograph, because a photograph can transmit the emotions of the people whose stories we’re conveying. We strove to let the photographs, especially when our only viewpoint of the past came from photographs, be a focal point of the storytelling.”
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