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MISSISSIPPI BLUES

France, 1984 (MIFF 1985)

Director: Bertrand Tavernier, Robert Parrish

A musical portrait of the American South as seen by outsiders, and filmed in the town of Oxford, Mississippi in 1982. The standard documentary approach is jettisoned in favour of a film 'diary which reflectively examines the blues and gospel traditions in a highly informal, and anecdotal manner, spiced by a rich, underlying humour.

"Mississippi Blues is like a ballad. It's a walk through a country that sticks to its past; a country, though, that is also willing to change its structures and prejudices. The Deep South, Mississippi, is a mythical country to French people With my American friend, Robert Parrish - and thanks to him - we entered churches; within a few minutes the faithful had forgotten us and sang for themselves. We went into the bars, the houses and the farms to hear the people and listen to the Deep South music in the places where it was born, where it breathes, far away from showbusiness. A music which expresses violence, misery, dignity... and humour. These warm encounters gave birth to a film: Mississippi Blues."

- Bertrand Tavernier

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