Via Zoom: CJ Hunt on His New Documentary ‘The Neutral Ground’

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CHICAGO – When you are not black in America, you cannot imagine the societal indignities (to say the least) that are endured on a daily basis, both macro and micro. A new documentary on a particular indignity, “The Neutral Ground,” by first time director CJ Hunt, premieres on PBS’s “POV” on July 5th, 2021. Click for details. Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

”The Neutral Ground” is an incredible and personal story about accepting identity and how the ready acceptance of lies by (mostly) white people create our current divisions. The “neutral ground” is New Orleans, during the 2010 decade of debate regarding Confederate statues and monuments that still resided in prominent places, in a city that has a 70 percent black population. Director and reporter CJ Hunt is a biracial (black/Filipino) participant in the debate, coming to terms with an identity that had eluded him before, and exposing the sheer pomposity and blinders that white people continue to keep alive to … what? create their own soothing power? The truth is the only thing that will set us free, as it has done with CJ Hunt. A must-see portrait of a democracy in peril.

’The Neutral Ground,’ Written and Directed by CJ Hunt
Photo credit: PBS/POV

Patrick McDonald of had the privileged to interview director CJ Hunt via Zoom, in a wide open, honest and expressive talk.

In PART ONE, CJ Hunt talks about the origins of the film, and an extraordinary take on the “losers” in the Civil War …

In PART TWO, Hunt talks about his father, his identity and black cities …

In PART THREE, some insights on “The Daily Show” and some concluding thoughts …

“The Neutral Ground” premieres July 5th, 2021, on your PBS station, through the program POV (see local listings for times). Click here for complete details. Written by CJ Hunt, James Hamilton and Jane Geisler. Featuring and directed by CJ Hunt. Not Rated. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor, Film Writer

© 2021 Patrick McDonald,

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