Format: Documentary Film
What: Historical film research and created by students entitled Remembering Willie Earle
Course(s): HIS454: Filming Southern History (Spring 2018)
Who: Faculty, John Wertheimer
Description: This documentary film discusses South Carolina’s last recorded lynching: that of Willie Earle, in Greenville County, in 1947. The film grew out of HIS 454, Filming Southern History, a course that teaches students how to use the medium of documentary film to tell historical stories. The students in that course collaboratively research an episode in the history of the U.S. South and also collaboratively produce a documentary film about it. By the end of the spring semester, 2018, the twelve students in HIS 454 had produced a first cut of the film that would become “Remembering Willie Earle.” That summer, three of the seminar’s students—Frank Carroll, Cassie Harding, and Stevie Jefferis—continued working on the documentary, under the guidance of filmmaker Thomas Espenschied. Their revised version of the film tells the story of the Willie Earle lynching through the eyes of eighty-nine-year-old Acquillious Jackson, Earle’s childhood friend.
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