Compromised from Coal Powered Filmworks on Vimeo.

Tom Hall’s film Compromised will play at the Terrace Theater on Thurs. July 2 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online or at the box office. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Emanuel AME Church as well as the Lowcountry Ministries’ Reverend Pinckney Fund. 

Compromised is a documentary that explores the “never-ending saga” of the Confederate flag in South Carolina, and specifically, the flag’s placement on the Statehouse grounds. The film’s title refers to the compromise in 2000 which led to the removal of the flag from the Statehouse Dome and the creation of its newest location in front of the capital building. The compromise was lead by then state Sens. Glenn McConnell and Robert Ford.

In a 2012 interview with WISTV10, Hall said, “There’s the more emotional side of the debate, and then there’s the political side of the debate and the film is more about the political side.” 

Emotions are currently running high regarding the flag, with various state lawmakers weighing in on whether or not it should be removed entirely from the Statehouse. In the wake of the Emanuel AME tragedy Hall’s film feels more timely than ever. The Nickelodeon theater in Columbia, S.C. will be showing the film on Sat., June 27. In a press release Terrace Theater owner Paul Brown acknowledged that he took a cue from Nickelodeon, feeling that the Terrace is the ideal place to continue this discussion in Charleston. 

Hall, a Citadel graduate and Columbia native, will be present during the screening and available for a Q&A session. 

“I think it’s important to the conversation to point out that I’m a Citadel graduate and a life-long South Carolinian,” says Hall. “I appreciate my roots and I love my state,” he adds. 

Hall, a lawyer by trade, first began making films about 10 years ago and started on this project five years ago when he felt compelled to explore the reasons behind the “impasse” and apathy of state lawmakers. “It’s profoundly sad that it took nine people to die to make people realize [the danger of] the flag,” he says. “All that flag stands for now is division.”

Hall says that his film acknowledges both sides of the debate and he tries to remain as objective a director as possible. “The film is just truthful,” he says.

Hall helped organize the 2,500 person rally at Columbia’s State House last Saturday. On Mon. June 22 Governor Nikki Haley called for a removal of the flag — a moment that Hall calls “surreal.” He marvels at the length of time it has taken for this conversation to affect changes in the state, pointing to the Confederacy’s terms of surrender as the most pivotal moment in the flag’s history.

“Robert E. Lee and other generals said to furl the flag, that it hadn’t been tainted with dishonor, and to never unfurl it,” he says. Hall says that people who fly the flag today are doing a dishonor to the heritage they claim to represent. “It’s just bad manners.”

Terrace Theater owner Paul Brown says the film is a “lightning rod of discussion.” When asked if he thinks the post-film discussion will become contentious, he adds, “I hope so.” He looks forward to Charlestonians of all stripes coming to the screening and voicing their points and counterpoints regarding the Confederate flag’s place in S.C. today.

“It’s really hard for [for S.C. Senate Majority Leader and CofC President]McConnell to give up the flag. What he [and others] are saying is ‘Well, the game’s up,'” says Hall.

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