Where the Pavement Ends
“A powerful, impressionistic meditation on the persistence of racial injustice. Where the Pavement Ends shows how past injustices prefigure those of today.” - The Boston Globe
"A searing indictment of systemic racism that led from the institutionalized segregation of the mid-20th century to the shooting of Michael Brown." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Essential doesn’t begin to describe this gutting masterpiece…a devastatingly political and thrillingly experimental meditation on a subject at the front of this country’s mind.” - Criterion (Criterioncast)
- MoMA Documentary Fortnight
- Camden International Film Festival
- Full Frame Documentary Festival
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
This artful exploration of the historical context of injustice in Ferguson, Missouri that presaged the unrest there in 2014-2015 depicts a micro-history of race relations in America.
A global spotlight fell on Ferguson as it erupted in protests following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in the summer of 2014, and remained in turmoil for over a year as a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer involved, and a federal investigation revealed institutionalized racism in its police force. But the history of Ferguson is not well known. Prior to a 1970 hearing in St. Louis before the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Ferguson was a white-only 'sundown town' effectively sealed off from the segregated neighboring black-only town of Kinloch, formerly vibrant but now semi-abandoned.
Where The Pavement Ends begins with a focus on a Jim Crow era roadblock that divided the two towns for as long as people can remember until the early 1970s. It revisits a 1968 protest over the roadblock to draw parallels with the events of 2014, which began over a jaywalking incident. Actual restriction of movement played a significant role in each flashpoint of racial strife.
The film progresses in a collage-like blending of archival materials, maps, recordings, reflections, and interviews, to illuminate social, psychological, political and economic histories that create a tapestry of a community. Despite the changes within the community that began in the late 1960s, one subject recalls that the "hard things" were never dealt with, until now.
The film proposes Kinloch as a lens for seeing more deeply into the charged atmosphere which led to Mike Brown’s death and the massive unrest that followed. And as a recording of an old Kinlochian woman intones, “anything that’s swept under the rug, in the beginning—as long as that stays covered up, it’s gonna have a smell…and rotten up everything.”
86 minutes - English
Directed by: Jane Gillooly
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