The child in Southern literature and film

The child in Southern literature and film

People think about children and childhood in the South in overgeneralized terms. Realities of childhood in the South are different depending on race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexuality, religion, politics, ethnicity, generational connections and geographic location in the region. The tension between these diverse childhood experiences and how they shape identity is often reflected in Southern literature and film.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is partnering with UNC-Charlotte's English Department to provide opportunities for the community to explore the diversity of Southern childhood, thanks to a generous grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council.

A series of programs, including a film series at Main Library, provide opportunities for the community to interrogate and discuss how childhood and children are reflected in literature and film and to consider how those portrayals influence cultural and social realities and vice versa.

Join us at Main Library for this FREE film series, and explore the diversity of Southern childhoods.

Beasts of the Southern Wild
March 10 @ 2 p.m. | Main Library’s Francis Auditorium

Hushpuppy is a six-year-old living in an isolated bayou community. When her father Wink becomes ill, she sets off for the outside world in an attempt to help him. The journey to save her father is delayed by a ‘busted’ universe that reverses weather patterns and brings about long-extinct animals. Can Hushpuppy save the day?

Director: Benh Zeitlin
Starring: Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry
Details: 2012; 93 minutes; Rated PG-13; Color
Post-film discussion led by Sam Shapiro

Interested in reading the play that inspired the film? Check out Lucy Alibar's Juicy and Delicious.

To Kill A Mockingbird
March 24 @ 2 p.m. | Main Library’s Francis Auditorium

In a racially divided Alabama town in the 1930s, widowed lawyer Atticus Finch agrees to defend a young black man accused of raping a white woman, teaching his children valuable lessons about prejudice and empathy.


Director: Robert Mulligan
Starring: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Brock Peters
Details: 1962; 129 minutes; Rated PG; B&W
Post-film discussion led by Sam Shapiro

Interested in reading the book that inspired the film? Check out Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.

Sounder
April 7 @ 2 p.m. | Main Library’s Francis Auditorium

Nathan Lee Morgan, an African-American sharecropper, steals food from his neighbor to feed his starving family and is arrested, leaving his wife and children to endure the hardships imposed on them by the economic depression and prejudice of the 1930s South. Sounder is a powerful story of a boy, his dog and his family’s triumph over adversity.

Director: Martin Ritt
Starring: Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Kevin Hooks
Details: 1972; 105 minutes; Rated PG-13; Color
Post-film discussion led by Sam Shapiro

Interested in reading the book that inspired the film? Check out William H. Armstrong's Sounder

The Reivers
April 14 @ 2 p.m. | Main Library’s Francis Auditorium

In turn-of-the-century Mississippi, an 11-year-old boy comes of age as two mischievous adult friends talk him into sneaking the family care out for a trip to Memphis and a series of adventures.

 

Director: Mark Rydell
Starring: Steve McQueen, Rupert Crosse, Burgess Meredith
Details: 1969; 107 minutes; Rated PG-13; Color
Post-film discussion led by Sam Shapiro

Interested in reading the book that inspired the film? Check out William Faulkner's The Reivers.

The Night of the Hunter
May 12 @ 2 p.m. | Main Library’s Francis Auditorium

A self-styled preacher marries and murders the widow of an executed convict with whom he once shared a cell. He then terrorizes her two young children to force them to tell him the whereabouts of the $10,000 he knows their father hid before his imprisonment.


Director: Charles Laughton
Starring: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
Details: 1955; 92 minutes; Rated PG-13; B&W
Post-film discussion led by Sam Shapiro


Stay tuned for more programs, lectures and events during The Child in Southern Literature and Film series.

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