7.3/10
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10 user 10 critic

Prom Night in Mississippi (2009)

A high school in a small-town in Mississippi prepares for its first integrated senior prom.

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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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In 1997, Academy Award winning actor, Morgan Freeman, who lives in the Charleston, Mississippi community, offered to fund the first-ever integrated Senior Prom in the history of Charleston's one high school. His offer was ignored. In 2008, Morgan offered again... the East Tallahatchie County School Board accepted. In this town of 2,300 people, its high school of 415 black and white students has, to this day, always had separate proms: one black, one white prom. Our film follows the Charleston High senior class of 2008 preparing and attending their historic, first integrated prom, in the context of strong emotions, traditions, and conflict inherent in race relations in the community, and in the deep south. Some of the white parents maintained their whites-only prom. Written by Paul Saltzman

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15 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Baile de Formatura no Mississippi  »

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1.78 : 1
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Jessica: [about a female student against an integrated prom] I feel sorry for her, because she was raised the way I was. But she's sticking to actually being racist.
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Just great!
23 June 2009 | by See all my reviews

This documentary is about a small town in Mississippi that (to this day) has integrated proms--one for blacks, the other whites! Hard to believe but it's true. Actor Morgan Freeman was born and raised in that town up to the age of 6. He says he'll pay for the school prom--IF it's integrated! Naturally this drays a firestorm of controversy but mostly from the parents who don't want it. The kids do--but they're caught in the middle.

Absolutely fascinating documentary. It's inconceivable to think that ANY town in this day and age would have separate proms. The documentary talks to the parents and kids. It's made pretty clear that most of the parents are against it--only a few support it. Also a group of white parents pressed charges against the town to NOT have an integrated prom. They also refused to appear on camera and talk about it. This isn't all about racism--it has some very fun moments. The kids themselves are funny, adult and articulate. The best bit is one boy who ends up with TWO dates to the prom! Also the tone of the film is not hysterical or condemning anyone. They just show you what's happening and has the citizens talk about it. Absolutely fascinating. A 10 all the way.


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