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“Our History’s Perpetually Being Rewritten as We Live it”: Watch Dee Rees’ Powerful Speech Accepting Sundance Award

Dee Rees will be bringing Mudbound into the Oscar race this year, after showing it at Sundance. Get to know her name – she is going to be an important voice in film I have a feeling. Well, just listen to this speech and you will know why. Keep an eye on her. Her first film Pariah garnered buzz but it’s likely Mudbound that will bring her to the forefront. Mudbound was adapted by Virgil Williams, based on the novel by Hillary Jordan. It stars Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige. The plot revolves around a family moving to Mississippi. Netflix will be distributing the film. Here is the synopsis:

Set in the rural American South during World War II, director Dee Rees’ Mudbound is an epic story of two families pitted against one another by a ruthless social hierarchy, yet bound together by the shared farmland of the Mississippi Delta. The McAllan family, newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis, is unprepared for the harsh demands of farming. Despite the grandiose dreams of Henry (Jason Clarke), his wife Laura (Carey Mulligan) struggles to keep the faith in her husband’s losing venture. Meanwhile, Hap and Florence Jackson (Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige) — fellow sharecroppers who have worked the land for generations — work to build a small dream of their own despite the rigidly enforced social barriers they face. The war upends both families’ plans as their returning loved ones, Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell), forge a fast but uneasy friendship over their shared experience as soldiers in Europe.”

Rees’ Pariah was about a 17 year-old lesbian coming of age and won Rees the breakthrough director award at the Gotham Film Fest, and won Excellence in Cinematography for Bradford Young at Sundance. Rees was a graduate of NYU’s graduate film program.

Here is her speech, which is a must-watch: