A Crime on the Bayou sneak peak

A CRIME ON THE BAYOU

A documentary feature film

In development with HBO

It's 1966 in Plaquemines Parish, a swampy strip of land south of New Orleans. A young Black fisherman, Gary Duncan, tries to break up a fight between white and Black teenagers outside a newly integrated school. He gently lays his hand on a white boy’s arm. The boy recoils like a snake. That night, police burst into Duncan’s trailer and arrest him for assault on a minor.

After months of clashes, the public schools have been integrated by court order. But we are in the land of the white separatist despot, Leander Perez, who rules Plaquemines like his fiefdom, making sure that segregation sticks regardless of federal laws desegregating schools and mandating voting rights. Arresting men like Duncan keeps Blacks in their place. With the help of a young Jewish attorney, Richard Sobol, Duncan bravely stands up to Perez. Systemic racism and pervasive anti-Semitism meet their match in decisive courtroom battles, including the U.S. Supreme Court; hate is vanquished by a powerful friendship that will last a lifetime. With the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. and abroad, there is no more important story to tell today. The roots and the mechanics of hate groups are in full display in this dramatic story of a crime on the bayou.

A Crime on the Bayou is the third film in director Nancy Buirski's trilogy profiling brave individuals who fought for justice in and around the Civil Rights era, following The Loving Story and The Rape of Recy Taylor. Together this trilogy demonstrates that regular people standing up for their values are the root of progress. Mildred Loving, Recy Taylor and Gary Duncan did not set out to change history. But they remind us that anyone can. Important films have been made about the racism – our film helps us to understand how the mechanics of white supremacy maintain racist institutions. We are inspired by those passionate individuals who work to defeat it and the hate that propels it.

Our nation is beginning to confront our past in order to understand our present, engaging in the slow process of ‘tearing’ down historical commemorations of oppressors; our film is a part of the replacement, the more truthful re-telling of our past. It's a reminder that much remains to be done, and much remains unresolved. Our hope is that the film is a bullhorn – that it ignites others to tell their stories as well.

A Crime on the Bayou is the third film in director Nancy Buirski's trilogy profiling brave individuals who fought for justice in and around the Civil Rights era, following The Loving Story and The Rape of Recy TaylorTogether this trilogy demonstrates that regular people standing up for their values are the root of progress. Mildred Loving, Recy Taylor and Gary Duncan did not set out to change history. But they remind us that anyone can. Important films have been made about the racism –our film helps us to understand how the mechanics of white supremacy maintain racist institutions.We are inspired by those passionate individuals who work to defeat it and the hate that propels it.

We are honored to be making this film with much of the same team as The Rape of Recy Taylor: Director and Producer Nancy Buirski, Executive Producers Amy Tiemann, Mark Trustin, and Brenda Robinson, Producers Susan Margolin and Claire L. Chandler, Co-Producer Vanessa Martino, Director of Photography Rex Miller, Editor Anthony Ripoli, and Archivist Hannah Shepard.