Purge This Land

V' 17

Purge This Land

Lee Anne Schmitt
USA, 2017
Documentaries, 80min, OF

© Viennale © Viennale © Viennale

Purge This Land

Lee Anne Schmitt
USA, 2017
Documentaries, 80min, OF

Sound: 
Ben Huff
Sara Suarez
Camera: 
Lee Anne Schmitt
Editor: 
Lee Anne Schmitt
Composer: 
Jeff Parker
Production: 
Lee Anne Schmitt
World Sales: 
Lee Anne Schmitt
Format: 
DCP
Color and Black/White

PURGE THIS LAND is an essay film centered around the legacy of the radical abolitionist John Brown. The title is taken from John Brown’s letter of 1859: “I am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” The history of racism and slavery in modern America is retold in a film, which spans from the1850’s to present-day USA and in the systemic violence that black Americans are still subjected to. John Brown – a white, militant activist – was sentenced to death in 1859 for a failed attempt to start an armed revolu-tion. His story is a prism, through which the contemporary artist Lee Anne Schmitt’s beautiful and thought-provoking film takes a clear and sober look at the dark side of American history. The past is never dead, it is not even the past, as Faulkner wrote. (Copenhagen Documentary Festival)