LaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 29
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 29
  3. Negative: 4 out of 29

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User Reviews

  1. RobinM.
    Feb 7, 2004
    10
    This is the first time a film has changed my life. The fact that most of us are living with such abundance, is magnified by Lalee's story. There has to be a way for me to get in touch with Lalee and provide assistance to her family. No one in this country, let alone many generations of one family, should be forced to live in such a desperate state of poverty. My feeling is that this This is the first time a film has changed my life. The fact that most of us are living with such abundance, is magnified by Lalee's story. There has to be a way for me to get in touch with Lalee and provide assistance to her family. No one in this country, let alone many generations of one family, should be forced to live in such a desperate state of poverty. My feeling is that this woman has never experienced true happiness or contentment. And my heart breaks for her many grandchildren who may very well meet the same horrific fate. God bless everyone in that school district who cares enough to break the cycle of illiteracy and utter poverty, and God bless the filmmakers for bringing this piece of 'Americana' to light. I will continue to search for a way to assist this family in any small way I can. Expand
  2. CTucker
    Feb 7, 2004
    10
    Please re-air this movie, I would like for my family, especially my grandchildren to see this movie in its entirety. I would also like to purchase this movie, if possible.
  3. SheilaD.
    Jun 22, 2004
    10
    Everytime this movie comes on I watch it. In the 90's it just shocks me to know that people live like this. Lalee is a STRONG woman who don't have the money to support all of her family but she does what she can for them. I look at this movie and I know that I don't have it hard as I THOUGHT I did. Where is the help in this state? Why couldn't they get help before this Everytime this movie comes on I watch it. In the 90's it just shocks me to know that people live like this. Lalee is a STRONG woman who don't have the money to support all of her family but she does what she can for them. I look at this movie and I know that I don't have it hard as I THOUGHT I did. Where is the help in this state? Why couldn't they get help before this movie? It shouldn't have to take a movie to show America what this town already knew was going on. How can the school say they didn't know, when these kids come to school without school supplies and good clothes. I just hope that Granny is still in school doing good and not pregnant. I would like a update on this family. How is Redman, man and the other kids. Expand
  4. GeraldineG.
    Sep 19, 2002
    10
    I still have tears in my eyes the day after watching this movie. Having been born and raised in the Delta myself, these scenes were familiar to me. Cotton picking and chopping was a way of life for us. I started chopping cotton at age seven but all my friends were doing the same thing so this was the place to be. I don't have any sadness thinking about those times because we were I still have tears in my eyes the day after watching this movie. Having been born and raised in the Delta myself, these scenes were familiar to me. Cotton picking and chopping was a way of life for us. I started chopping cotton at age seven but all my friends were doing the same thing so this was the place to be. I don't have any sadness thinking about those times because we were able to keep some of our money that we made to buy our own new clothes for school. I cried just looking at Lalee who reminds me of my mother who has since passed on along with my Dad who recently passed in '99. I had to constantly pray out loud for God to give me the strength to watch this movie to the end. This was and still is my home and those are my people that I am watching on tv. My brothers are still there and I constantly visit. Visits have gotten extremely harder after the passing of my father of course. Just driving to MS from Dallas, Tx is an emotional expereince in itself. Poverty was always around me growing up in Leland but Lord knows that we never had to do without anything. My father and mother kept our family together. My Daddy never made more than $9,500 a year but we didn't know we were poor because everyone around us was equally poor. This family is "po" in ways that I never knew. This movie touched me so that I need to find this lady and just hug her and cry with her and offer some financial assistance. I was really moved by this movie. The filmakers really earned the confidence of Lalee. A standing ovation for allowing the truth to be told. A film well done. I plan to purchase this film if possible on video or dvd because I missed some of the scenes. Interrupted by AT&T cable constantly blinking out and destroying my emotional moment. I probably missed about 30 minutes of the film in which I probably will never get the chance to see again on HBO. No rebroadcast date has been given yet. Collapse
  5. MakaiisaG.
    Sep 24, 2002
    10
    This documentary was very moving. I had no idea that there could be people in the new millenium who are still existing in such poverty. I was so moved by it, that I am surfing the web in hopes of finding out how I can get in touch with LaLee to offer financial assistance. She is bearing the weight of the world. I wish her and her family the best. Especially "Granny", Cassandra. I have This documentary was very moving. I had no idea that there could be people in the new millenium who are still existing in such poverty. I was so moved by it, that I am surfing the web in hopes of finding out how I can get in touch with LaLee to offer financial assistance. She is bearing the weight of the world. I wish her and her family the best. Especially "Granny", Cassandra. I have each HBO rebroadcast up until October. I'll record it this Thursday but I'll watch it each time it comes on. Expand
  6. J.H.
    Mar 15, 2004
    10
    I know that I am about 2 years late making this comment, but I just wanted to confirm what all the other people are saying who saw this documentary. I was born and raised in Tunica, MS(labeled "Sugar Ditch" in the 80's). It is about 50 miles north of West Tallahatchie on Highway 61 North. I can say that the exact same thing was taking place in my county until the casinos showed up I know that I am about 2 years late making this comment, but I just wanted to confirm what all the other people are saying who saw this documentary. I was born and raised in Tunica, MS(labeled "Sugar Ditch" in the 80's). It is about 50 miles north of West Tallahatchie on Highway 61 North. I can say that the exact same thing was taking place in my county until the casinos showed up about 13 years ago. However, they are still there. Blacks are starting to get smarter and stop working harder. Some of them saw that they could make a substantial amount of income and wouldn't have to worry about collecting unemployment during the winter months. I am from a family of 15 and my father supported us along with assistance from the Federal Govt. in the form of food stamps. Although my father wasn't able to earn a diploma from highschool, he understood the importance of education. Thanks to him, I am currently in the U.S. Army and have been for 13 years. Since my enlistment into the Army, I have been able to earn an associates degree in business is currently working a bachelor's degree. Just as I wanted to get out and improve my way of life, I feel that others can do the same thing. There are some who had the same opportunity as I had and decided to pass it up. I can understand for some who had to struggle just to stay alive, but for those who had the opportunity, shame on you. Expand
  7. KimY.
    Jun 5, 2004
    10
    I was so saddened by this documentary, but am aware that this is reality. If more people could see documentaries such as this, maybe more people would work harder and want to help others to break the cycles that plague our world.
  8. KatyW.
    Oct 8, 2006
    7
    I am from Batesville MS, which is about 35 miles away from Charleston, which is the town in Tallahatchie county. I worked in Marks, MS for 5 years, and have even eaten in the Dining Room (the restaurant featured in the film.) [***SPOILERS***] While I feel extremely sorry for Lalee, I do not think that her story should be used as a basis of comparison for the way that all people live in I am from Batesville MS, which is about 35 miles away from Charleston, which is the town in Tallahatchie county. I worked in Marks, MS for 5 years, and have even eaten in the Dining Room (the restaurant featured in the film.) [***SPOILERS***] While I feel extremely sorry for Lalee, I do not think that her story should be used as a basis of comparison for the way that all people live in MS. Her daughter couldn't afford to buy school supplies and clothes for her children to go to school, but every time she was shown on camera, she had a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. I do think that something needs to be done about the education system in Tallahathie County, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you can afford a pack of cigarettes, you can afford a pack of paper. Every time I see something like this on TV, it reminds me of why people from the rest of the country look down on Mississippi. It should be our job as fellow Mississippians to educate our children to break this cycle. Free rides and hand outs may seem like a quick fox, but they only enable this kind of grotesque poverty to continue. Expand
  9. StephenL.
    Aug 21, 2007
    10
    I cannot believe that in the United States we allow people to live in these conditions. It put into perspective how good I really have it. I wish I could do something for them. I would love to adopt one of the children and help them better themselves.
  10. Benjyx
    May 30, 2008
    10
    I dont know what everyones problem with this was. Spoiler* the aliens reflected the time and if you thought they were ridiculous what about the melting faces and invisible paths that have graced over jone's films. It was a very good film that didn't take itself seriously and was fun what more can you want from it?
  11. DawnB.
    Feb 11, 2009
    10
    I was really touched by this movie! It showed the strength of a black woman trying to raise her grand children. It made me sad and also angry with her children. Lalee made a choice to live in these conditions because that was all she saw but her children (15) of them should want better and not allow their mother to live in those conditions. From my understanding from the movie, her son I was really touched by this movie! It showed the strength of a black woman trying to raise her grand children. It made me sad and also angry with her children. Lalee made a choice to live in these conditions because that was all she saw but her children (15) of them should want better and not allow their mother to live in those conditions. From my understanding from the movie, her son was a drug dealer and most of her children worked and/or received government assistance. But, they couldn't help their mother and grand mother with meals, clothing, runnning water, bills and the daily neccessites of taking care of their children. If we would only work together, our live would be better! I pray she is doing well and has running water.. I also, pray that her children, grand children and great-grand children will ask God to break the generational curse on their family. I also, wonder what Granny, Red-Man and Main is doing. I pray they are still striving for the best that life has to offer them and not settling for any thing. I will watch this movie over and over again.. Thanks HBO! Expand
  12. Jane
    Dec 5, 2001
    10
    A truly phenomenal documentary.
  13. CarlaB.
    Nov 22, 2005
    10
    Does anyone know where I can purchase a copy of this movie? I am not able to find it anywhere! I am currently a college student doing research for an upcomming research conference and I would love to use this movie to help open up more eyes about the true problems within the United States!!
  14. BarbaraM.
    Apr 21, 2008
    10
    when i first seen this movie back in 2001 i cried for Ms. Lalee to see how she and her family have to live.i wish it was some way i could show my kids this movie now that they are 16,13,12 so they could see just how bless they are.I sometimes wonder how she is doing.its sad how we help people everywhere around the world and we have people right here living like that even in 2008. Its so sad.
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Its simple, straightforward storytelling makes mincemeat of the idea that, gee, if these people just worked a little harder and got motivated, they, too, could get a piece of the American Dream.
  2. Froemke and Dickson's film opens a window onto rural poverty so dire it's almost inconceivable that it exists in 21st-century America.
  3. An exemplary work of cinéma vérité that allows its subjects to speak for themselves, traffics neither in pity nor in political grandstanding.