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This film series, which takes place each summer, is designed to be an entertaining and critical introduction to the American South, and most films are accompanied by commentary from a topical expert. While intended especially for international students and scholars, the series is open to everyone.

SCMS 2019 flyer * Previous SCMS Films

All screenings are:

Parking: Free parking is USUALLY available directly beneath the FedEx building after 5 PM. See here for a parking map, and check the parking reservations calendar before you arrive.

2019 Schedule

May 16

Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Story

Discussion facilitated by Jed Finley, Program Associate at the Music Maker Relief Foundation

Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Story is a portrait of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a string band from Raleigh, North Carolina, and their mentor, fiddler Joe Thompson (1919—2012). Produced and directed by John Whitehead, the film captures how three African-Americans from the hip-hop generation embraced a 19th-century genre and took it to new heights, winning a Grammy in 2010. The story of the band’s meteoric rise, from busking on the street to playing major festivals, is punctuated and informed by the history of the banjo’s origins in Africa, and the untold story of how blacks and whites collaborated to create the earliest forms of American popular music. [2017, 83 min]

Chocolate Drops picture


May 30

The Chance to Live, Santuario & I, Destini

These films are being held in conjunction with the Royster Global Conference on “Borders”, with additional support from UNC Global.

Discussion will be facilitated by a panel of experts following the films.

The Chance to Live, which explores a day in the life of a Triangle Area family who sought asylum from violence in Colombia, is the first installment of the Triangle Refugee Film Project. [2018, 11 min]

chance to live picture


Santuario tells the story of Juana Luz Tobar Ortega, who in April 2017 was told without warning that she had 30 days to leave the country or be deported. Instead, she entered sanctuary at St. Barnabas Episcopal in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is film is a story about radical faith, one family’s fight to stay together, and the true meaning of church in today’s immigration climate.[2018, 30 min]

Santuario picture


Delicately animated in black-and-white, Destini Riley’s affecting account of the impact of the prison-industrial complex on African-American families like her own was actually submitted as evidence in her brother’s trial. [2016, 14 min]

Destini picture


June 13


Discussion facilitated by filmmaker Karen Amspacher, Executive Director of CORE SOUND Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center

The people of “Down East”—Eastern Carteret County, North Carolina—have worked the sounds and ocean for nearly three centuries and developed a unique rapport with an unpredictable environment, but the sustained seclusion that protected their heritage is fast eroding. [2013, 57 min]



June 27

Remarkable Journey

Discussion facilitated by Dr. Steven Channing, filmmaker

Through lively first-person stories, Remarkable Journey explores the ‘pioneer’ generation of Indian immigrants to North Carolina, as the world’s oldest and largest democracies met here in the midst of the Civil Rights movement and beyond. These energetic newcomers helped fuel the expansion of opportunities in science and business in our region, as they met the challenge of passing the “essence of India” on to their children. [2017, 60 min]

Remarkable picture


July 11

Spanish Voices

Discussion facilitated by Paolo Tosini, film restoration expert and instructor at CHICLE Language Institute

The Spanish-speaking population in the Southeastern US has been growing at an unprecedented rate. This movement has led to major language change issues about the co-existence of English and Spanish in the American South. People from all walks of life contribute to the American story of Spanish and English and its relationship to movement, identity, and community. [2011, 55 min]

Spanish picture


July 25


Some of the content in this film may not be appropriate for children.

Discussion facilitated by Jeremy Lange, Director

Home from three combat tours in Iraq, Alex Sutton forges a new identity as a farmer, hatching chicks and raising goats on 43 acres in rural North Carolina. He dives into life on the farm with his new love Jessica, but cannot shake the lingering traumas of war. The stories he tells about battlefield experiences become unmoored from reality as he cycles between states of heightened awareness and “feeling zombified” from a cocktail of prescriptions meant to keep him stable. For the viewer, as for Alex, what to believe about his past is uncertain. The farm becomes a terrain to unearth what is buried, what it really means to be “the perfect soldier,” and where to find the way forward. [2016, 65 min]

Farmer picture


Southern Culture Movie Series brought to you by:

The Writing Center

International Student and Scholar Services

The Summer School