“I have captured sections of present-day America where there’s almost this nostalgia for the kind of overt hatred and intolerance that once thrived, and didn’t just emerge with the election of Donald Trump,” said Minervini.
Born in the tiny town of Fermo, Italy off the Adriatic Coast, he moved to New York City in 2000 as an IT consultant for a client based in the World Trade Center. The next year, he received 18 months’ salary from the state as a 9/11 victim, which he used to earn an MA in Media Studies at the New School. He later moved to Houston, which led to a fascination with the American South and what he calls a “paralyzing fear” of the region’s rigid conservative politics, cultural tradition, adherence to religious doctrine, and definitions of masculinity. He’s made five features, all centered on rural lives in Texas and Louisiana, but this is the first dedicated to the African American experience.