Scottsboro: An American Tragedy is a powerful Oscar-nominated documentary about when fate places people in the wrong place at the wrong time, and when fear and suspicion fuel injustice.
In early 1931, a freight train crowded with homeless and unemployed people was making its way through north-eastern Alabama when it was stopped by an armed posse close to the small town of Scottsboro. Nine black boys, suspected of having scuffled with others aboard the train were arrested. Before anyone knew what had happened, two young women stepped forward with a shocking accusation: they had been gang-raped, so they claimed, by the black boys on the moving train.
So began one of the most significant and dramatic legal controversies of the 20th century. Before it was over, almost 20 years later, the Scottsboro Case would divide Americans, along racial, political, and geographic lines and it would for the first time focus international outrage on the treatment of Blacks in the American South.
Scottsboro: An American Tragedy exposes dramatically some of the deepest stains in American life and how in the rush to exploit the situation for their own ends, many on both sides of the battle forgot that the lives of nine young men hung in the balance.