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A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures
streamed with essays about the traditions and filmmaking. The site includes transcriptions, study and teaching guides, suggested readings, and links to related websites.  

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 Mississippi Delta Blues
 
Burgoo! Legendary Stew of the South

From pioneer days on the western frontier came a stew prepared by farmers and hunters by the name of Burgoo. No one knows where the name comes from, but one thing becomes very clear, the passion for whatever is called Burgoo, cooked in huge black iron cauldrons, is reflected in the titles given to the burgoo masters- they are called “Burgoo Kings!"

/ Midwest / 2008
56 minutes | Read More

It's Grits

With all the native wit, rib tickling humor and ability to see what makes the South the South found in the literary classics of Southern writers like Mark Twain, documentary filmmaker Stan Woodward helps us discover the common thread that connects the South’s people across all social, economic, political and racial boundaries – Grits! “Grits is us” - or, if we are to be grammatically correct, “Grits are us” - could easily be the title of this uproariously funny and at the same time insightful and poignant personal documentary.

/ South / 1980
44 minutes | Read More

Barbecue & Home Cooking: Barbecue & Home Cooking

The filmmaker is joined by SC folklorist, Saddler Taylor in this “road film” that travels a spontaneous investigating-and-recording-as-you-go journey through the farm roads and by-ways of four rural counties. There, homecooking and barbecue can be found, cooked by folk heritage culinary food artisans using ancestral recipes and methods that have been passed on to them by mothers cooking over wood-stoves and fathers cooking in BBQ pits dug in the ground.

/ South / 2004
56 minutes | Read More

Smithy

Delbert Smith, 88, a hereditary blacksmith, illuminates life around the forge.

Arts & Crafts, Traditional, Work, Rural Life, Aging / Northeast / 1974
05 minutes | Read More

Watermen

In 1965 New York filmmaker Holly Fisher focused her camera on the annual skipjack race on the Chesapeake Bay, and on skipjack captain Art Daniels. Over the next three years, she and her co-director, Romas Slezas, filmed Daniels, his family and his colleagues oystering and crabbing and living on the Chesapeake.

Work, Agriculture, Family, Rural Life / Middle Atlantic / 1968
01 hour, 00 minutes | Read More | Preview

Hazel Dickens: It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song

From the coalfields of West Virginia to the factories of Baltimore, Hazel Dickens has lived the songs she sings. Interviews with Hazel and fellow musicians such as Alison Krauss, Naomi Judd, and Dudley Connell are interwoven with archival footage, recent performances, and 16 songs including “Mama’s Hand,” “ Working Girl Blues,” and “Black Lung.”

Music, Women, Work, Folkmusic Revival, Social Justice/Protest / Appalachia / 2001
01 hour, 00 minutes | Read More | Preview

Circus Minimus
Jack Ofield's 16-mm film shows the work of Henry Duncklee, who retired from his job as a circus sign painter in 1949, and begin building this circus of his own.
Arts & Crafts, Traditional / Middle Atlantic / 1977
03 minutes | Read More

Where Do They All Go?
As a teenager, growing up in the mountains of rural northern Virginia, Jerry Payne asked "Animals are dying all the time. Where to they all go?"
Rural Life / Appalachia / 2013
42 minutes | Read More | Preview

Zampogna: The Soul of Southern Italy
Follow a young Italian-American's cultural odyessy though the depths of Italy's most remote and traditional regions, told through the story of Italian folk music.
Music / World / 2009
01 hour, 20 minutes | Read More | Preview

Queena Stovall: Life's Narrow Space

Dubbed the “Grandma Moses of Virginia,” Emma Serena Dillard “Queena” Stovall (December 20, 1888–June 27, 1980) painted scenes of people and activities in rural Virginia.

Arts & Crafts, Traditional, Customs, Family, Rural Life / South / 1983
06 minutes | Read More

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