The Big Picture
- Silver Dollar Road is a gripping documentary that tells the story of the Reels family’s determined struggle to reclaim their ancestral land, highlighting the enduring presence of institutionalized racism in the United States.
- The documentary follows the matriarch Mamie Reels Ellison and her niece Kim Renee Duhon as they navigate the legal system to safeguard their family’s heritage, that dates back to the era of Emancipation.
- Inspired by a 2019 ProPublica article, Silver Dollar Road sheds light on the covert ways in which the legal system has been manipulated to undermine Black landownership, offering a firsthand look at racial disparities in wealth and the importance of resilience in the face of adversity.
Prime Video has released the trailer for their upcoming Amazon documentary Silver Dollar Road, which is set to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary is directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro) and will screen in the TIFF Docs section.
Silver Dollar Road is a compelling documentary that traces the journey of the Reels family, narrated by Mamie Reels Ellison, the family matriarch, and her determined niece Kim Renee Duhon. These two strong-willed women, alongside their brothers and uncles, Melvin and Licurtis, are on a mission to reclaim their ancestral land in the South. Their struggle is intensified by the fact that Melvin and Licurtis were unjustly imprisoned for a record-breaking eight years due to civil contempt, marking the longest such sentence in North Carolina’s history.
Although they were finally released from incarceration in 2019, the battle to regain the land that was wrongfully taken from their family continues to be a painstaking one. This documentary, inspired by a 2019 ProPublica article, tells a gripping and heart-wrenching tale that sheds light on the enduring presence of institutionalised racism in the United States. The Reels family’s determination to reclaim their land, a heritage dating back to the era of Emancipation, serves as a stark reminder of the covert ways in which the legal system has been manipulated to undermine Black landownership.
Silver Dollar Road is a story of unwavering resilience, tenacity, and the unbreakable bonds of a close-knit family. It is an essential viewing experience for audiences of all ages, offering a firsthand look at how the legal system has been leveraged to keep Black land ownership fragile and exacerbate racial disparities in wealth. Prime Video provided the following synopsis for the documentary.
From Academy-Award Nominee Raoul Peck, Silver Dollar Road follows the story of the Reels family as told by the matriarch Mamie Reels Ellison and her niece Kim Renee Duhon, two fierce and clear-eyed women bending to safeguard valiantly their ancestors’ land and their brothers and uncles Melvin and Licurtis, who were wrongfully imprisoned for eight years – the longest sentence for civil contempt in North Carolina history. This documentary, based on the 2019 ProPublica article, highlights the covert ways the legal system has been exploited to keep Black land ownership fragile and the racial wealth gap growing.
Silver Dollar Road will be released in select theaters on October 13, before heading to Prime Video for its exclusive streaming premiere from October 21. You can check out the trailer for Silver Dollar Road down below.