Her Name was Hester Film

Returning to her ancestral farm in Dirt Town Valley, Georgia two decades after leaving for higher education and family raising, Stacie Marshall was charged with the daunting task of reconciling a painful past marred by slavery. Despite being haunted by stories of Hester – an enslaved woman who had served generations before hers – Mrs. Marshall courageously set off on this mission. Her efforts did not go unnoticed: A National Food Correspondent from The New York Times documented her journey as she made amends for centuries-old pain; culminating in coverage across America's most esteemed newspaper come July 4th 2021.

Director Statement

This timely heartfelt film is a collaborative community labor of love co-produced by Ozarkadia Films, Mountain Mama Farms, Harmony Baptist Church/Mosley Family, and the Hester’s Heritage Foundation, with funding from the Georgia Humanities Council and Berry College Faculty Development, and generous pro bono contributions from A Million Things productions, Dark Root Studios, and a talented array of musicians and community members. All of these contributions came about because the story represents a genuine effort at reconciliation that provides real hope and vision in a time when it is so desperately needed. I began this project as a feminist piece, documenting a woman moving back to farm in a patriarchal farming region and I envisioned it as a short, but the story became increasingly serious and significant and it demanded more of my time and attention. Before I knew it, I had invested five years in documenting because serendipitous events just kept happening, and more and more community members got involved. As we dug into the editing, we decided to omit some of the more hateful aspects of the story, much of which our society already knows more generally, and to pursue the redemption, forgiving, reparation (repair), basically to emphasize that which we hear too little of in mainstream media, perhaps because it’s so rare, or maybe because these stories just don’t get told.

- Brian Campbell

Get involved with Our Work

The best way to support the film is to purchase the soundtrack online and donate to the foundation. 100% of the proceeds from the soundtrack go to support the work of revitalizing the family farm and supporting equal justice in black history preservation, education, and black farming initiatives.