POV: Two Towns of Jasper
All series episodes
About This Episode
On a June night in 1998 three young white men from Jasper, Texas - John King, Lawrence Brewer and Shawn Berry - went out for a drive. After some drinking, they picked up James Byrd Jr., a local black man, chained him to the back of their truck and dragged him for three miles. Byrd was alive for much of this ordeal. Eventually his head was shorn off and his body disintegrated. It was a modern day lynching.
Filmmakers Whitney Dow, who is white, and Marco Williams, who is black, took to the streets of Jasper during the murderers' trials to see what the town had to say. And they decided to do it with segregated crews: Williams filmed the black community, Dow filmed the white community. The resulting portrait in Two Towns of Jasper is an explicit accounting of the racial divide in America - a disturbing montage of contrasting realities that somehow inhabit the same place and time.
The film invites intense and often provocative discussions about race in America; its history, its future and most importantly, how the question of race plays out in our daily lives.