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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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 A Singing Stream: A Black Family Chronicle
Prairie Crosses

Prairie Crosses follows the traditional iron art form that crossed continents and oceans and survived famine and war to be reborn on the Great Plains of America and Canada.

Arts & Crafts, Traditional, Customs, Ethnic & Immigrant Cultures, Religion / Midwest / 2002
56 minutes | Read More

Recipes from Grandma's Kitchen: Volume 2

From the Russian steppe to the American prairies, the resourcefulness of the Germans from Russia, particularly in the preparation of food for large families, has become a rich legacy. In German-Russian life, “food was love,” and prairie mothers who left no record of their lives are remembered daily in the recipes and rituals of food preparation.

Foodways, Women, Rural Life / Midwest / 2005
50 minutes | Read More

God Given: Cultural Treasures from Armenia

The exquisite metal repoussé artistry and life experiences of Norik Astvatsaturov, formerly of Baku, Azerbaijan, now an American citizen in Wahpeton, North Dakota, reflect in microcosm the history and culture of Armenia.

Arts & Crafts, Traditional, Ethnic & Immigrant Cultures / Midwest / 2009
09 minutes | Read More

A Soulful Sound

Throughout their travels, this enduring ethnic group maintained their traditional religious music, their lullabies and folk songs, their vocal and instrumental music. "A Soulful Sound: Music of the Germans from Russia" blends expert commentary with performances of traditional music—in the original language—from regional talent.

Ethnic & Immigrant Cultures, Music, Religion, Festivals/Customs / Midwest / 2005
56 minutes | Read More

The Germans from Russia

The Germans from Russia is the story of the Germans from Russia - agricultural pioneers on several continents whose quest for land and peace shaped them into a distinctive and enduring ethnic group.

Ethnic & Immigrant Cultures, Agriculture, Family, Rural Life, Canada / Midwest / 1999
57 minutes | Read More

Brunswick Stew: The Pride of Brunswick County Virginia

This film travels the viewer pot-side where we see the work of artisans of many different stewmasters and learn how these stews are sold and the money used to meet needs in the small town and farm communities. The original feature length version - BRUNSWICK STEW : A Southern Americana Folk Heritage Tradition - was produced for the people of Brunswick County, Virginia, who honor this tradition and maintain it through a system of stewmasters and stew crews who cook for their constituent community.

Rural Life / South / 1999
56 minutes | Read More

Southern Stews: A Taste of the South

This spontaneously-shot surprising documentary looks across the South to see the connections between the folk heritage traditions of communal cooking in gigantic black iron pots stirred with wooden paddles maintained into the 21st century by culinary folk artisans called “stewmasters” with their stew crews.

Foodways, Festivals/Customs, Rural Life / South / 2002
56 minutes | Read More

The Morris Chronicle

Morris Peeples is a film that sets out to document a 93 year-old barbecue master as he cooks a hog in the old fashioned way - the way that farmers in the Springfield community in South Carolina have cooked in this Edisto River region in Barnwell County.

Foodways, Family, Rural Life, Aging, African American Culture / South / 2006
01 hour, 51 minutes | Read More

The Sheep Stew Of Dundas: A Gastronomical Delight

This journey in search of the story of Dundas Sheep Stew and its preparation is poignant as we learn how fragile the tradition is; and it is filled at every turn with good humor and the extraordinary warmth of the people of Dundas. This documentary provides an unusual view back into the ways of our rural farm folk who took occasional breaks from the gruelling work of farming to come together around the cooking of a locally concocted stew, to enjoy fun and fellowship; and for the stewmaster and stew crews, a sip of whiskey here and there, some good-natured leg-pulling, and the comradery of a rural farm culture that occured around the stew-pot - not to mention the good eatin' that followed.

Foodways, Festivals/Customs, Rural Life / South / 2001
55 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.

Foodways / South / 1980
44 minutes | Read More

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