LILLIE & LEANDER
A LEGACY OF VIOLENCE
Director: Jeffrey Morgan
Producer: Alice Brewton Hurwitz
“a deeply unsettling tale of blood-drenched racism
deserving of widespread publicity.”
- Jay Weissberg, Variety
Lillie & Leander: A Legacy of Violence is a feature length documentary film that examines the case of a black man suspected of raping and murdering a white woman at the turn of the 20th century in Pensacola, Florida. In investigating the rape and murder of her great-great aunt Lillie Davis, Alice Brewton Hurwitz stumbles upon an explosive family secret. While newspaper accounts of the time reported the vigilante lynching of Lillie’s suspected black assailant Leander Shaw in fascinating detail, Hurwitz discovers that the men in her family exacted their own system of revenge. In one interview, an elderly relative recounts how the men in the family killed every black man who walked the road they lived on. The story seems to match the local mythology in this divided community. When the State Attorney gets involved, an investigation begins in full force. More than a crime investigation, Lillie & Leander addresses the racism that still simmers in many U.S. communities through a powerful, unforgettable tale of family secrets unlocked.