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Always in Season

ALWAYS IN SEASON explores the lingering impact of more than a century of lynching African Americans and connects this form of historic racial terrorism to racial violence today. The film centers on the case of Lennon Lacy, an African American teen who was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, North Carolina, on August 29, 2014. Despite inconsistencies in the case, local officials quickly ruled Lennon’s death a suicide, but his mother, Claudia, believes Lennon was lynched. Determined to find answers about what happened to her son, Claudia moves from paralyzing grief to leading the fight for justice.

As the film unfolds, Lennon’s case, and the suspicions surrounding it, intersect with stories of other communities seeking justice and reconciliation. A few hundred miles away in Monroe, Georgia, a diverse group of reenactors, including the adult daughter of a former Ku Klux Klan leader, annually dramatize a 1946 quadruple lynching to ensure the victims are never forgotten and encourage the community to come forward with information that might bring the perpetrators to justice. As the terrorism of the past bleeds into the present, the film asks: what will it take for Americans to begin building a national movement for racial justice and reconciliation?

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) | Reviewed by Monique Threatt, Indiana University, Herman B Wells Library
"This engaging albeit tragic documentary delves into America’s ugly history of criminal lawlessness, and the uncivilized twisted psyche exhibited in lynching people of color. [...] I recommend this documentary to adults interested in, or studying American and African American History, Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Sociology."

"Thought-provoking film that opens the door for discussions on racial issues, the criminal justice system, and African American history"

The New York Times
"The documentary Always in Season makes a powerful case that the history of lynching in the American South is not just history — that murders still haunt the present-day sites where they occurred, and that such killings can and do happen today."

"Combining observational footage with first-person testimonies and expert insights, Jacqueline Olive’s Always in Season is the first feature documentary to spotlight recent grassroots efforts to acknowledge the victims of lynching, repair the damage, and reconcile. The film explores the lingering impact of the lynchings of African Americans from over a century, and connects this form of historic racial terrorism to racial violence today."

"Archival materials offer details of the gruesome past, and interviews and present-day reporting are nicely counterbalanced by moments of visual poetry that capture the lyrical aspects of rural Southern life — even as we suss out its less-than-sweet side."

"Jacqueline Olive’s unwavering debut film puts Lacy’s pursuit for justice into a wider historical context, inspiring a powerful discussion about lynching across racial lines … Olive’s film honors and acknowledges the injustices that have been inflicted, while emphasizing that only through the uncomfortable conversations and acceptance of our nation’s history will we begin to heal together."

Filmmaker Magazine
"The entire experience is haunting, difficult and necessary, a depiction of an America that we think of as relegated to the past but that continues to encroach on the present."

"With a background in journalism, Olive is factual and to the point. As a filmmaker, she is passionate and unwavering. While Ms. Olive’s debut feels like an instant success, it is a labor of love that took nearly ten years to make. The film is tough but necessary."

The Hollywood Reporter
"Infuriating and eye-opening"

Screen Daily
"An artful, deeply felt documentary"

"A nuanced, layered reminder of how far we still have to go to correct the injustices of this country’s past and present."

Democracy Now!
"An exceptional documentary in every respect"


Main credits

Olive, Jacqueline (film director)
Olive, Jacqueline (film producer)
Olive, Jacqueline (screenwriter)
Devaney, Jessica (film producer)
Bernier, Don (editor of moving image work)
Bernier, Don (screenwriter)
Chiang, S. Leo (film producer)
Glover, Danny (narrator)

Other credits

Edited by Don Bernier; cinematography by Patrick Sheehan, S. Leo Chiang; original music by Osei Essed.

Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

African American Studies
American Studies
Film Studies
U.S. History
Ethnic Studies
Criminal Justice Reform
African-American Studies
American Studies
Documentary Films
Cultural and Ethnic Studies
Criminal Justice, Law, and Legal Studies
Journalism and the Press


African American Studies, Sociology, American Studies, Film Studies, U.S. History, Ethnic Studies, Criminal Justice Reform, Journalism; "Always in Season"; GOOD DOCS