Visit Hale County, Alabama—one frame at a time—for an eye-opening look at life in the nation’s Black Belt, made up of plantation country largely abandoned after the Civil War. What’s left is a time and place eerily haunted by days gone by.

In Independent Lens’ Hale County This Morning, This Evening, nominated for a 2019 Academy Award in the Documentary (Feature) category, director RaMell Ross’ feature debut follows five years in the lives of Daniel Collins and Quincy Bryant, who experience everything from the mundane to the monumental in their everyday existence. A Providence, Rhode Island-based writer, photographer and filmmaker, Ross started his journey with the teens while working as a teacher and basketball coach in the county of the same name, populated by mostly poor black residents.

Collins and Bryant are raised in the same community but they choose separate paths: one attends college while the other becomes a father. Each grapples with their hopes, dreams and disillusionment in his own personal way. Collins is playing basketball at Selma University, the local historically black Bible school, with dreams of going pro. Bryant is supporting a family with his partner, Boosie, who has one child with him and is pregnant with twins.

The 36-year-old filmmaker builds his image-rich story out of bits and pieces of their world, lingering on a shot without giving it context or on an action or a face just long enough to make a statement. Separately, each frame is just a fragment of life, but together they show a way of life.

A former artist-in-residence in the MIT Media Lab and current assistant professor in Brown University's visual art department, Ross abandons traditional narratives about blackness and adopts a brand of visual storytelling that transcends everyday moments and leads to a better understanding of humanity as a whole.

Hailed as one of the best films of 2018, this Sundance winner shatters stereotypes of the black experience and replaces them with the raw reality of Southern life, the best and worse in all its grainy glory. Ross’ film is not judgmental. Instead, it’s truthful and gritty and open to individual interpretation. WGBH is proud to honor Black History Month with this richly detailed glimpse of the rural South that celebrates its beauty while bearing witness to those whose lives are woven into its cultural tapestry.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening airs Monday, February 11 at 10 pm on WGBH 2. Watch a preview below: