In 2009, Rees’ feature documentary, Eventual Salvation, aired on the Sundance Channel; the film follows her American-born 80-year-old grandmother Amma as she returns to Monrovia, Liberia to rebuild her home and community after the devastating Liberian civil war that she barely escaped from a decade prior. In 2015, her film Bessie premiered on HBO, starring Queen Latifah as the iconic singer Bessie Smith. The film was well received by critics, and won four Primetime Emmy Awards, including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. In addition, Rees was nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special and Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special.
Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband’s Mississippi Delta farm, a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family’s struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura’s brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not – charming and handsome, but he is haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, now battles the prejudice in the Jim Crow South.
Director: Dee Rees
Writers: Virgil Williams, Dee Rees
Stars: Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke