LaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 29 Ratings

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  • Summary: This heartbreaking documentary depicts the extreme poverty of an African-American family and their Mississippi Delta school district.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    90
    The balance between feeling and distance is never a contradiction here but, rather, the dynamic that makes this film an especially humanistic entry in the Maysles canon.
  2. 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.
  3. An exemplary work of cinéma vérité that allows its subjects to speak for themselves, traffics neither in pity nor in political grandstanding.
  4. 75
    Demonstrates that sometimes letting subjects and the facts speak for themselves can be quietly devastating.
  5. 60
    Froemke and Dickson's film opens a window onto rural poverty so dire it's almost inconceivable that it exists in 21st-century America.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 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 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!! Expand
  2. 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 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. Expand
  3. 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 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. Expand
  4. 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 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
  5. 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 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? Expand
  6. 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 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. Collapse

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