Jen Sidley of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History reports on the people and the films at the event she hosted on November 3
Robbie brought in footage of a 1953 African American river baptism near Jonestown, MS. The reel also depicted crop harvesting of cotton and corn and children picking pumpkins.
David brought in a box of films from his days teaching film at Alcorn State, a black college in Mississippi (late 70s to early 80s). Films depicted student life – working, studying, at leisure. Some reels were out-takes from student-made films. One reel depicting African American
quilting. One reel (S8 w/ sd) of Son Thomas sculpting in clay, singing the blues and playing guitar ca. 1982
Henry had always heard the story of how his mother dated the quarterback, and when the team (Duke) went to the Rose Bowl in 1938, the westbound train stopped in Hattiesburg, MS to pick her up. Duke lost the game, but Henry’s mother got to ride on a float in the parade. Unbeknownst to him until HMD, he had a film of her in the parade and on the train heading back east.
Rita brought in several reels of 16mm from the late 60’s depicting the South, especially Louisiana, New Orleans, and small towns in Mississippi, including footage of Braxton, MS after a hurricane.
Mary saw her children playing in Troy, NY from 1957
Heather watched her first Christmas (ca. 1980).
Greg had some student films he shot at UMass-Amherst during the late 70s. Greg describes them as avant garde and experimental. Scenes depicted were from western Massachusetts in the winter and around Boston in the spring (including the farmer’s market).
Greg also gets the award for best comedy for his student film, a fictional short called “The Great Banana Epic.” We watch as youth purchase and ingest bananas, then become susceptible to their mind-altering effects, until the diligent gun-toting rabbi comes along to straighten them out, dispose of the bananas, and cart the youth off in a boxy yellow 3-wheeled automobile. According to Greg, the car “inspired the whole thing.”
A few patrons brought in films that had mold on them. Mississippi is rather hot and humid, and we had a good talk about the effects of mold on film and how to deal with it.