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Rough South, Rural SouthRegion and Class in Recent Southern Literature$
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Jean W. Cash and Keith Perry

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496802330

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496802330.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

Trash or Treasure? Images of the Hardscrabble South in Twenty-First-Century Film

Trash or Treasure? Images of the Hardscrabble South in Twenty-First-Century Film

(p.224) Trash or Treasure? Images of the Hardscrabble South in Twenty-First-Century Film
Rough South, Rural South

Richard Gaughran

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on twenty-first-century films that depict the hardscrabble South. Divisive images of the American South have appeared throughout the history of film, for example, in D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) or in Victor Fleming's Gone with the Wind (1939). However, there have also been benign, even sympathetic films on poor southerners, including Jean Renoir's The Southerner (1945) and Debra Granik's 2010 adaptation of Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone (2006). This chapter discusses films that portray the Rough South, such as George Washington (2000), Shotgun Stories (2007), and That Evening Sun (2009). The trend outlined by these and other filmmakers suggests that a conscious revision is underway: an attempt to bring the rough characters to the fore, to reexamine the conditions that give rise to “redneck,” “hillbilly,” and “white trash” stereotypes.

Keywords:   films, poor southerners, The Southerner, Winter's Bone, Rough South, George Washington, Shotgun Stories, That Evening Sun, white trash, stereotypes

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