Lost in Mississippi

Lost in Mississippi

Lost in Mississippi

Running Time: N/A

One of the most powerful documentaries you'll see at this year's festival, Lost in Mississippi is Jim Chambers' haunting journey back to the south, trying to uncover whatever he can about reported prison suicides over the last five years. The "victims" were "mostly young, male `short-timers'" and "fully half of whom were African-American." Chambers talks with anyone who will talk with him, and what emerges is a collection of sometimes disturbing, sometimes sad, but always riveting stories. There's the Scott Campbell case, a young black man found hanged in his cell after the lights at the jail mysteriously went out. Campbell's fiancee and mother of his child tells of a difficult struggle to carry on and explain things to his young son. There's Andrea Gibbs, the ex-policewoman, fired after going public with stories of police strip- searching and manhandling a young black woman, witnessed on her very first day on the job. Then there's Billy Dotson, an ex-con/murderer who becomes friends with Chambers but can't escape his past. For good measure are the characters who flow in and out of Chambers' view: among them the eleven-year-old Nazi black-hater, the old flute player, and the pit bull who mauls the sound man. To enhance the mesmerizing story Jim Chambers tells in Lost In Mississippi (his third feature), visually striking images (Campbell's young son bowling comes to mind) create a haunting backdrop for a culture whose prejudices and violence seem to mar its country's ideals. --Jeffrey Vargas

One of the most powerful documentaries you'll see at this year's festival, Lost in Mississippi is Jim Chambers' haunting journey back to the south, trying to uncover whatever he can about reported