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You hear a term like ethnic cleansing and you immediately begin thinking about foreign tragedies where humans take on the characteristics of monsters, and men play God with the lives of others. But much of the groundwork for horrors overseas was laid long ago right here in the U.S.A.. Marco Williams’s stunning documentary, Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings, yanks the sheets off and reveals some of this nation’s most awful historical scars.

The documentary travels to Forsyth County, Georgia; Pierce City, Missouri; and Harrison, Arkansas – three communities forged in Jim Crow fashion with lynching, murder, threats, theft, and fire. Today those places remain almost completely white, and the ethnic families who worked to create their legacies following the Civil War -- only to be forcibly evicted in the name of racist entitlement -- have never been compensated for their losses. Tonight’s Independent Lens screening at the Miami Beach Cinematheque will leave you shaken, disturbed, contemplative on the ride home. See it at 8:30. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
Thu., Jan. 17, 8:30 p.m., 2008


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