Walker Art Center

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The Great Flood

Director Bill Morrison present for a post-screening discussion

Part of Expanding the Frame: For the Love of Film

“A glowing alternative history of the birth of Rock ’n’ Roll.” —No Alternative

As topical as ever, Bill Morrison’s most recent film tackles the great Mississippi River Flood of 1927, the most destructive in American history. Breaking out of its earthen embankments in 145 places, the river decimated 27,000 square miles of land and became a major force in spurring the great migration of rural sharecroppers to northern industrial cities.

Parallel to this human exodus was the evolution of Southern delta blues into electrified rhythm and blues as well as the folkloric roots of rock ‘n’ roll. Morrison’s narrative, built with degraded images from archival nitrate films, and Bill Frisell’s stirring original score bring history to life. 2012, video, 81 minutes.

A discussion with the director follows the screening.


The Expanding the Frame series is made possible by generous support from Elizabeth Redleaf.