On Screen

With today’s streaming services, Americans no longer have to attend film festivals or local screenings to watch documentaries. Whether they are set in the South, feature Southerners, or both, these documentaries and shorts range from quirky to heartbreaking but all of them offer viewers the opportunity to see past common beliefs, myths, and narratives about some of the region’s real people and places. This selected list of Southern docs includes perspectives from and about the South that viewers may not have considered previously.

Regional

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus (2003) • deepsouth (2009)

Trapped (2016) •  Sharecrop (2017)

Alabama

Alabama Outlaws: Wrestling on the Indie Circuit or Southern Discomfort (2002)

Butch Anthony’s Folk Art Compound (2011) • Eating Alabama (2012)

Welcome to the Village (2017)

Hale County This Morning This Evening (2018)

Waste Not Want Not: Recycling in Alabama (2019)

Arkansas

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976)

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)

West of Memphis (2012)

Georgia

Get the Side Effects (1980) • Athens, Georgia Inside/Out (1987)

Scarred but Smarter (2012)

Louisiana

Bayou Blue (2014) • The Other Side (2016) • Bogalusa Charm (2019)

Mississippi

Mississippi Chicken (2007) • Prom Night in Mississippi (2009)

Mississippi: I Am (2012) • The Uncomfortable Truth (2017)

Mississippi Madam (2018) • Fertile Ground (2020)

Far East Deep South (2021)

North Carolina

Dixie Queen (2003)

Where Do You Stand? Stories from an American Mill (2004)

Voices of North Carolina (2005) • Change Comes Knocking (2007)

Fake It So Real (2012) • First Language (2014)

Southeastern NC Surfing (2016)

South Carolina

I Am Somebody (1970) • Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre, 1968 (2008)

Trappist (2008) • Wilhemina’s War (2016) 

Pearl Fryar: The Man with the Green Thumb (2019)

Tennessee

Beauty is Embarrassing (2012)

Virginia

What Remains (2006)