REEL SOUTH returns with an expanded season and a new host—platinum-selling, Grammy-winning recording artist Darius Rucker. The series premieres weekly on WORLD Channel, Sunday nights from January 8 through March 5, 2017 at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Check local listings.
REEL SOUTH is an anthology series highlighting the best non-fiction storytelling from across the American South. Distributed to public television stations nationally, the series brings diverse Southern voices, topics, and points of view into millions of homes. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the series is a collaboration between UNC-TV and SCETV, and the Southern Documentary Fund (SDF). Visit reelsouth.org and follow on Facebook and Twitter. All films from Season Two will stream at reelsouth.org the day after broadcast.
Episode 201 – Thursday, January 5
SOUL CITY — Soul City explores the rise, fall, and legacy of Soul City, North Carolina. Rich archival material, interviews with former and current Soul City residents, animations and the soulful rhythms of the era bring alive the vision of its founder, Floyd B. McKissick, and his band of idealists who risked it all to build the city of their dreams with all the odds stacked against them.
Episode 202 – Thursday, January 5
EAT WHITE DIRT — An oddly spellbinding personal, cultural and scientific history of the deeply transgressive and often misunderstood practice of consuming earth, this film collects and combines the experiences, processes and explanations of people who eat white dirt with the scientists who study the phenomenon.
Episode 203 – Thursday, January 12
DEEP RUN — Executive produced by LGBTQ supporter Susan Sarandon and shot by first-time filmmaker Hillevi Loven, DEEP RUN is a powerful vérité portrait of trans life in rural North Carolina. Exiled by her family and rejected by an ex, 17-year-old Spazz has no one to lean on for support. But when Spazz falls in love again and summons up the courage to become Cole, a strong-willed trans man, his candid humor and steadfast, all-inclusive Christian beliefs counter the bigotry he experiences daily. This intimate documentary reveals rebirth and courage within America’s deeply conservative Bible Belt.
Episode 204 – Thursday, January 19
OVERBURDEN — Overburden is the story of a fiery, pro-coal right-winger and a tenacious, environmentalist grandmother whose lives are thrust together when a mine disaster shatters their community. Through an intimate story unfolding over seven years, Overburden underscores the need for reconciliation as these two women join forces to take on a rogue industry and heal their wounded community. With an increase in alternative energy and the work of these two courageous women, the epicenter of change may just come from the most unexpected place: the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains.
Episode 205 – Thursday, January 26
THE STATE OF EUGENICS — After sterilizing more than 7,600 people between 1933 and 1974, North Carolina became the first state to compensate its victims.
Episode 206 – Thursday, February 2
THE EXCEPTIONALLY EXTRAORDINARY EMPORIUM — The Exceptionally Extraordinary Emporium is a documentary film about the cherished tradition of costuming during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Members of the city’s colorful costuming community share their unique traditions while gathering at the epicenter of all things costuming—the family-owned fabric store, Jefferson Variety. The film follows characters as they buy materials, create their costumes, and prepare for the 2015 carnival season – giving a deeper look into the culture and significance of costuming in New Orleans.
Episode 207* – Thursday, February 2
THE LAST BARN DANCE — This episode tells a story about farming, fragility and a fight to save the family business. Randy Lewis struggles to save his dairy farm in the piedmont region of North Carolina, where dozens of family-owned dairies have disappeared. While keeping the business afloat, Randy also hosts one of the only true old-time barn dances left in the region, keeping the tradition alive and the community that loves it.
Episode 208 – Thursday, February 9
120 DAYS — Raleigh resident, family man and undocumented immigrant Miguel Cortes is ordered to leave the United States in “120 days,” but how far will Miguel go to keep his family together and his American dream alive? He has 120 Days to work hard, save money and weigh his options about returning to Mexico alone, or risk changing his name and disappearing back into another U.S. city illegally with his family.
Episode 209 – Thursday, February 16
PRIVATE VIOLENCE — Private Violence is a feature-length documentary film that explores a simple, but deeply disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman in America is her own home. Every day in the U.S., at least four women are murdered by abusive (and often, ex) partners. The knee-jerk response is to ask: “why doesn’t she just leave?” Private Violence shatters the brutality of this logic. Through the eyes of two survivors–Deanna Walters, a mother who seeks justice for the crimes committed against her at the hands of her estranged husband, and Kit Gruelle, an advocate who seeks justice for all women–we bear witness to the complicated and complex realities of intimate partner violence. Their experiences challenge entrenched and misleading assumptions, providing a lens into a world that is largely invisible; a world we have locked behind closed doors with our silence, our laws, and our lack of understanding. Kit’s work immerses us in the lives of several other women as they attempt to leave their abusers, setting them on a collision course with institutions that continuously and systematically fail them, often blaming victims for the violence they hope to flee. As Deanna transforms from victim to survivor, Private Violence begins to shape powerful, new questions that hold the potential to change our society: “Why does he abuse?” “Why do we turn away?” “How do we begin to build a future without domestic violence?”
Episode 210 – Thursday, February 23
RED WOLF REVIVAL — Red Wolf Revival is a short film about the last remaining wild population of red wolves. Centered on the historic recovery effort in Eastern North Carolina, we document the multifaceted struggle to reintroduce one of the rarest animals on earth in the face of cultural, economic and biological challenges in North Carolina.
Episode 211 – Thursday, February 23
AN ENDURING LEGACY: LOUISIANA’S CROATIAN-AMERICANS — The Croatians of Lower Plaquemines parish have used grit and determination to build an oystering industry that has made Louisiana famous. Little-known even in their home state, the history of the tight-knit Croatian-American community is portrayed in this documentary through the lives of four figures who embody the 150-year Croatian experience in Louisiana.
Episode 212 – Thursday, March 9
SHAKE ‘EM ON DOWN — Shake ‘Em on Down’ is the story of Fred McDowell, the godfather of the North Mississippi style of blues. Through interviews and never-before-seen footage of Fred McDowell and other blues legends, the film tells the story of a Mississippi sharecropper who went on to influence the music of the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, RL Burnside, Taj Mahal and the North Mississipp All Stars.
Past Seasons: Season 1