Neighborhood Buzz in LI Pulse

Neighborhood Buzz

photo: Hilary McHone

O’Neal is not alone. There has been a perpetual misconception that the Hamptons façade—luxury, wealth, racial homogeneity—is the complete Hamptons reality. But for every million-dollar mansion, there is someone who cleans it; every glass of wine, a migrant worker who picks the grapes. And as the East End becomes more populated and wealth overflows into adjacent neighborhoods, it is leaving less and less for the unseen Hamptons population.

As natives of the south fork, brothers Benjamin and Orson Cummings have witnessed this transition firsthand. As filmmakers, they chose to share it. In their new documentary, Killer Bees, executive produced by NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, they do just that through the trials of an unexpected character: a high school basketball team.

Chronicling Bridgehampton High School’s famed boys basketball team over the course of one season from December 2015 through March 2016, Killer Beesexplores the history of the team led by coach Carl Johnson and documents the Bees’ preparation to defend its New York state title. By following the team made up of predominantly African-American students, the Cummings brothers were also able to examine a community fighting not only to keep Bridgehampton School open but also gentrification and extreme income inequality in one of the country’s wealthiest communities.

Killer Bees is the fourth film written and directed by Benjamin and Orson but their first documentary. The siblings grew up in Bridgehampton and attended Bridgehampton School until the early 80s when they left for a private high school in New Jersey.

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