A Southern Movie Bonus: Three Deep Southern Documentaries

I discovered back in 2009 and 2010, during my “Patchwork” project, how the national media is only really interested in telling stories of the Deep South when they regard college football, political chicanery, and weirdo-freaks. (To test this hypothesis, I recently started getting a daily Google Alerts again, with the keyword Alabama, and that trend still holds true.) However, there are so many stories from the region that are worth telling, that are worth hearing, and that lend themselves to a more accurate picture of how we struggle with poverty, its root causes, and its attendant social ills. Three recent documentaries tell some of those stories.

“Wilhemina’s War” (2016) was featured in PBS’s Independent Lens film series. It screened last February. The documentary deals with the HIV/AIDS crisis in rural South Carolina.

You can watch the complete film on the Independent Lens website for until July 28, 2016.

Likewise, “deepsouth” (2014) deals with the the same subject matter: HIV/AIDS. This 72-minute documentary won numerous awards.

In searching for information about this film or where you can to watch it, the website reminds us:

*Please note the correct spelling of the title: deepsouth – one word, no capitalization (even at the beginning of a sentence)

Finally, “Trapped” (2016) is a movie that I noticed when Mother Jones magazine covered its release: “This is what it’s like to be an abortion provider in the Bible Belt.”

While this subject gets a lot of play in the news – pro-life versus pro-choice – “Trapped” provides a more in-depth look than two dogmatic opponents duking it out in ten-second sound blurbs.

(Also, if you’re interested in films, South Arts’ Southern Circuit Tour of Filmmakers just announced its line-up of films for the 2016–2017 season.)


  1. Great post! Have you read ‘An Anquished Hallelujah’ by Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith ? She is the new president of Birmingham Southern- in my opinion it should be taught in social studies- she came from deep poverty in Mississippi to becoming CFO at UAB – my daughter is a reading coach in Alabama schools- we are very concerned…enough said. love your blog!


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