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In A CRIME ON THE BAYOU a Black teenager is arrested for touching a white boy's arm! The unjustly arrested Black man and his young Jewish attorney take the case to the Supreme Court to fight for the right of all Americans to a fair trial.


A CRIME ON THE BAYOU is the story of Gary Duncan, a Black teenager from Plaquemines Parish, a swampy strip of land south of New Orleans.

In 1966, Duncan tries to break up an argument between white and Black teenagers outside a newly integrated school, in the course of which he dares to gently lay a hand on a white boy's arm. That night, police burst into Duncan's trailer and arrest him for assault on a minor.

A young Jewish attorney, Richard Sobol, leaves his prestigious D.C. firm to volunteer in New Orleans. With his help, Duncan bravely stands up to a racist legal system powered by a white supremacist boss to challenge his unfair arrest. Their fight goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and their lifelong friendship is forged.

Written and directed by Nancy Buirski A CRIME ON THE BAYOU is the final film in her acclaimed trilogy profiling brave individuals who fought for justice in and around the Civil Rights era. The other films are The Loving Story and The Rape of Recy Taylor.


Directed by Nancy Buirski
Produced by Nancy Buirski, Susan Margolin, Claire L. Chandler
Executive Producers: Regina K. Scully, John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius, Austin Biggers, Geralyn Dreyfous, Harlene Freezer, Jules Horowitz, Felicia Horowitz, Brenda Robinson, Mark Trustin, Jamie Wolf
Editor: Anthony Ripoli
Director of Photography: Rex Miller
Archival Producer: Hannah Shepard
Music Supervisor: Doug Bernheim
Writer: Nancy Buirski
Inspired by "Deep Delta Justice" by Matthew Van Meter
A Production of Augusta Films LLC in assocation with Get Lifted Film Co, and Artemis Rising Foundation

We offer two basic screening options: in-person or virtual. Book an in-person screening using the button below. For an online screening, fill out the virtual screening request form.

For more information on virtual screening options, visit our Learn About Screenings page.


COMMUNITY SCREENINGS (single events with license to charge admission)
$100 Small Community Screening (1-50 people)
$200 Medium Community Screening (51-100 people)
$350 Large Community Screening (100+ people)

"Every American should watch this riveting portrayal of the breadth and depth of racial injustice in the Deep South of the 1960s."
Jane Dailey, Professor of American History, University of Chicago, Author, White Fright: The Sexual Panic at the Heart of America's Racist History

"Vivid...Provide[s] an unusually palpable sense of just how much deeply-ingrained institutional and cultural bias needed to be overcome for the civil rights movement to make real headway...[An] engrossing, flavorful document."
Dennis Harvey, Variety

"A CRIME ON THE BAYOU never explodes with fury. But that doesn't mean you won't feel enraged while taking in the maddening series of systematic wrongs committed against Sobol and Duncan."
Robert Daniels, The Los Angeles Times

"Thoughtful and illuminating...Shines a light on a groundbreaking piece of recent American history that will be news to many viewers."
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

"Filmmaker Nancy Buirski has an elegant, judicious way of imparting the facts of the case, taking not just the political temperature of the moment (boiling) but finely sketching the character and minds of the people involved. 4 out of 4 stars."
Steven Boone, Roger Ebert

"Buirski follows the case with cogency and clarity, illuminating its implications and putting it in the perspective of Black and white alliances in the struggle for Civil Rights."
Peter Keough, The Boston Globe

"It has a potent idea, which is to show how even bureaucratic aspects of the legal system in the Deep South in the 1960s could be weaponized against Black Americans."
Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times

"Must-see...A CRIME ON THE BAYOU focuses on an incident that happened in 1966 but is, infuriatingly, still timely and relevant more than half a century later."
Lois Alter Mark, Alliance of Women Film Journalists

"Buirski has assembled an impressive set of historical sources but allows the story to unfold so naturally that it feels as if it were being told for the first time...The issues at the heart of this film remain very much alive today."
Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

"The film sharply illustrates the pervasive character of systemic racism that allows one person to use his position in society to tangle another in a web that can trap him for a lifetime."
Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

"Tells a powerful, important story, the reverberations of which still linger."
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media

"Essential...An urgent, exceptionally well told chronicle of an important but often forgotten moment in American history."
Sean Patrick, Vocal

"Topical and gripping...Given current events, rarely has a film felt so essential."
Mike Scott, Times-Picayune

"Very well-made...An essential piece to think about the United States of America - how it was and why it is like it is today."
Letícia Magalhaes, Cine Suffragette

"If you want to look at this national conversation about systemic racism, this is a nice demonstration of where it manifests."
Kevin Carr, Fat Guys at the Movies

"Documentarian Nancy Buirski deploys a delicate cinematic elegance to tell Duncan's tale."
MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosophe

"I strongly recommend A CRIME ON THE BAYOU...The story it tells is about a key moment in the fight against Jim Crow, and it tells it well."
Louis Proyect, The Unrepentant Marxist

"Fascinating...A very different documentary on race and hate in the 1960s. Normally, we are shown stories of illegal incarceration, pain and suffering...Could we have here a story of the carriage of justice?"
Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews

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