The Southern Culture Movie Series

This film series is designed to be an entertaining introduction to the American South. While intended especially for international students and scholars, the series is open to everyone. Admission is free, and refreshments are provided.

All showings are held in the Mandela Auditorium in the FedEx Global Education Center. Movies are on Thursdays at 6pm, unless otherwise noted.


May 22


Jump roping has moved off the sidewalks and onto the stage. DOUBLETIME follows two disparate teams –one suburban white and one inner-city black– as they train to compete against each other for the very first time.


*Check out Chapel Hill’s Bouncing Bulldogs for yourself!


May 29

Voices of North Carolina: Language, Dialect, and Identity in the Tarheel State

Voices of North Carolina chronicles the state’s diverse language traditions from the Outer Banks to the Southern Highlands. Cherokee and Lumbee Indians, rural and urban African-Americans, first language Spanish-speakers, and southerners of all walks of life lend their voices to a universal portrait of language and identity.


*With special introduction by Walt Wolfram


June 5

A Village Called Versailles 

Tucked away on the eastern edge of New Orleans, a community of Vietnamese refugees has thrived for 30 years in a neighborhood they call Versailles. A Village Called Versailles recounts how the residents successfully fought against the opening of a toxic government-imposed landfill after Hurricane Katrina struck and subsequently transformed their neighborhood.


*With special introduction by Jennifer Ho


The Shrimp

The Shrimp is a lush visualist’s documentary that follows the life cycle of a shrimp along the marshes of Savannah, Georgia. Beautifully etched images and a canny audio soundtrack create a rich observational work about Southern culture, human folly and the interplay of natural and built environments.


June 12

A Man Named Pearl

A Man Named Pearl tells the inspiring story of self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar. It offers a message that speaks to respect for both self and others, and shows what one person can achieve when he allows himself to share the full expression of his humanity.


*With special introduction by Elizabeth Barnum
*Visit the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden in Bishopville, SC.


June 20 *Note this is FRIDAY, not Thursday!

Down Home: Jewish Life in North Carolina

Jews have been integral to North Carolina’s emergence as a progressive New South society. This richly textured documentary consists of oral histories, interviews with noted historians, rarely seen photographs and engaging re-enactments – that bring to life over 300 years of Jewish North Carolina history.

*With special introduction by Leonard Rogoff
*This film is part of a program by the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina.


June 26

February One

Based largely on first hand accounts and rare archival footage, the new documentary film February One documents one volatile winter in Greensboro that not only challenged public accommodation customs and laws in North Carolina, but served as a blueprint for the wave of non-violent civil rights protests that swept across the South and the nation throughout the 1960′s.

*With special introduction by Rebecca Cerese


July 10

Tootie’s Last Suit

When New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Indian Chief Tootie Montana decides to come out of retirement and make one last Mardi Gras Indian suit, conflict erupts between Tootie and his son Darryl, to whom he earlier bequeathed the title of Chief.


*With special introduction by Joseph Jordan


July 17

The Queen Family: Appalachian Tradition and Back Porch Music

This toe-tapping documentary listens in on the Folk’s “first family” at their Appalachian home. Singing from their own back porch in western North Carolina, the Queens embody an impressive aural tradition that finds its ancestors in England, Scotland and Ireland and its descendants in gospel, bluegrass and country music.


*With special introduction by Neal Hutcheson


July 24

Family Name

This winner of the 1997 Sundance Freedom of Expression Award follows filmmaker Macky Alston from New York to the South, as he embarks on an excavation to unearth the history of his white slave-owning family, and explores the link to the black families that shared his name.

*With special introduction by Charlene Regester


July 31

North Carolina’s Dependence on Tobacco

Tobacco has a long and evolving legacy in North Carolina. People defend the golden leaf for the economic power it brings the state. Others criticize it for the serious health problem smoking tobacco can cause.


The Guestworker

On a hot, soggy day on a farm in North Carolina, 12 men sit on a porch watching the rain wash away another day’s work, another day’s wages. One of those men, 66 year-old Candelario, has been coming to the United States for 40 years, harvesting our crops and trying to provide for his family. Without benefits, without retirement, he battles against the elements, his own age, and the backbreaking work, returning to this farm year after year as, The Guestworker.


*With special introduction by Joshua Hinson


Southern Culture Movie Series organized by:

The Writing Center

International Student and Scholar Services

The Media Resources Center 

The Center for Global Initiatives 


Southern Culture Movie Series sponsored by:

The Summer School