The Neutral Ground

Comedian C.J. Hunt tries to answer the question: Why is it so hard to break up with the Confederacy? as he tracks the removal of monuments.

A protestor from the League of the South in front of the Robert E Lee monument in New Orleans
Premiere Date
July 5, 2021
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2022 News and Documentary Emmy Awards-Outstanding Historical Documentary
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2021 International Documentary Association (IDA)-Best Musical Score
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2021 Tribeca Film Festival-Special Jury Mention for the Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2020 Critics Choice Documentary Award-Best Narration
  • Director/Writer

    CJ Hunt

    Director CJ Hunt is a comedy writer and director living in NYC. He is currently a field producer on The Daily Show. He has been a field producer for BET's The Rundown with Robin Thede and a staff writer for A&E's Black and White, and a cast member on MTV2's Vidiots. A member of the 2018 Firelight Media Documentary Lab, CJ is directing a documentary about the Show more fight over confederate monuments in New Orleans. He spends his free time hosting The Moth, making faces in the mirror, and writing short films. A graduate from Brown University in Africana Studies, CJ is endlessly fascinated by race and comedy's ability to say what we can't. Show less


    Darcy McKinnon

    A native Floridian and decades-long resident of New Orleans, McKinnon is interested in work that highlights the unique cultures and social issues of the Gulf South. Darcy McKinnon is a documentary filmmaker and Executive Director of NOVAC, the New Orleans Video Access Center, which has been supporting community-based media in Southeast Louisiana Show more since 1972. She is a co-founder of ALL Y’ALL, the Southern Documentary Collective, with filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon. McKinnon’s previous work in documentary includes the films Maquilapolis and Live, Nude, Girls, UNITE. She produces documentary work with Southern filmmakers, and her previous work includes producing Ben Simmons’ short doc ANIMALS, as well as the short doc series Post Coastal, which focuses on issues facing Louisiana’s coastal communities in the face of land loss and climate change. Currently, in addition to Commuted, McKinnon is producing The Neutral Ground, an ITVS documentary in late production directed by CJ Hunt, focusing on the removal of Confederate Monuments and their legacy of revisionist history, bloodpeach by Zuri Obi, an experimental short about a lingering folktale in Natchez, MS, which has support from Tribeca and Sundance, and is a consulting producer on Katie Mathews’ Roleplay, a documentary focusing on a group of students at Tulane University who use theater to explore issues of sexual assault on campus. Show less

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    The Film

    Comedian and filmmaker C.J. Hunt documents the dispute over the removal of four confederate monuments in New Orleans. As residents take sides on whether to remove or defend the so-called Lost Cause monuments, city life is marred by death threats and lawsuits. Expanding his scope, C.J. embarks on a journey across the country to find out what it would take to convince America to end its long romance with the Confederacy.