The Great Flood
Black History Month 2023 • 1h 18m
Directed by Bill Morrison • Documentary • 2013 • 80 minutes
The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in American history. In the spring of 1927, the river broke out of its earthen embankments in 145 places and inundated 27,000 square miles. Part of its legacy was the forced exodus of displaced sharecroppers, who left plantation life and migrated to Northern cities, adapting to an industrial society with its own set of challenges.
Musically, the Great Migration fueled the evolution of acoustic blues to electric blues bands that thrived in cities like Memphis, Detroit and Chicago becoming the wellspring for R&B and rock as well as developing jazz styles.
THE GREAT FLOOD is a collaboration between filmmaker and multimedia artist Bill Morrison and guitarist and composer Bill Frisell inspired by the 1927 catastrophe.
"Critic's Pick! Visual poetry, sublime"—The New York Times
"A knockout!—Kenneth Turan, LA Times
"Archival wizard Bill Morrison's film finds lyricism in disaster"—The Wall Street Journal
Up Next in Black History Month 2023
I Am Somebody
Directed by Madeline Anderson • Documentary • 1970 • 30 minutes
In 1969, black female hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina went on strike for union recognition and a wage increase, only to find themselves in a confrontation with the state government and the National Guard. Featuring An...
Integration Report 1
Directed by Madeline Anderson • Documentary • 1960 • 20 minutes
INTEGRATION REPORT 1 examines the struggle for black equality in Alabama, Brooklyn and Washington, D.C., incorporating footage by documentary legends Albert Maysles and Ricky Leacock, protest songs by Maya Angelou, and a speech by M...
The Intolerable Burden
Directed by Chea Prince • Documentary • 2003 • 56 minutes
In the autumn of 1965, sharecroppers Mae Bertha and Matthew Carter enrolled the youngest eight of their thirteen children in the public schools of Drew, Mississippi. Their decision to send the children to the formerly all white schools wa...