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The Films
Brief descriptions

APPALACHIA: A History of Mountains and People

Named BEST VIDEO OF THE YEAR by the American Library Association.

The first film series ever to chronicle the riveting history of one of the oldest mountain ranges on earth and the diverse peoples who have inhabited them. This four-part series weaves the insights of both the sciences and the humanities into a spellbinding portrait of one of the world’s great ecological treasures.

Featuring E.O. Wilson, Barbara Kingsolver, Lamar Marshall, Harvard Ayers, Ron Eller, Wilma Dykeman, Mary Lee Settle, Sharyn McCrumb, Freeman Owle, Judy Bonds, Helen Lewis, Nikki Giovanni, Gurney Norman, Denise Giardina, George Constantz, Chris Bolgiano, and many more. The series is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.

Tell About the South: Voices in Black & White, The Story of Modern Southern Literature

This critically acclaimed three-part series explores Southern Literature from World War I through the Civil Rights Movement to the present. Tell About the South was nominated "Best Documentary Series of the Year" by the International Documentary Association.

The series tells the story of the great Southern writers, both black and white, in the context of the region's history and culture. It includes William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Thomas Wolfe, Richard Wright, Eudora Welty, Robert Penn Warren, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O'Connor and many, many more. The series is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

To Render A Life

Best Documentary of the Year Nominee, International Documentary Association, (1992). To Render a Life is a detailed and dramatic portrait of a contemporary poor, rural family as seen through the eyes of James Agee and Walker Evans' literary classic Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. The film also reflects on the documentary process with comments by acclaimed social documentarians such as Fred Wiseman and Robert Coles.

Long Shadows

This feature film explores the legacy of the American Civil War - the ways in which that cataclysmic event is still felt in American society. It is a film about the nature of History in our national and personal lives - the past as prologue. Long Shadows features Studs Terkel, John Hope Franklin, Jimmy Carter, C.Vann Woodward, and Robert Penn Warren.

The Electric Valley

Emmy Nomination (1984). This feature film tells the history of the Tennessee Valley Authority - the TVA - as both political parable and human drama. The Electric Valley puts a human face on the nation's largest energy producer and one of the remarkable institutions of our time. A journal of the American political soul.

Agee

Academy Award Nomination for Best Feature Documentary (1980). The life and work of Pulitizer Prize-winning novelist-poet-journalist-screenwriter-film critic James Agee are examined in this highly acclaimed film biography.

An Afternoon with Father Flye

This touching portrait tells the story of Father James Harold Flye, lifelong friend and mentor to the writer, James Agee. The film reminds us how truly pleasant and heartening simple friendship can be.

Lives and Times

A boxed set of five films by Ross Spears, including Agee, The Electric Valley, Long Shadows, To Render a Life, and An Afternoon with Father Flye.

Father and Son: Three Films about Growing Up

A delightful portrait of Nick Spears at age 27 months, Toddlin' has proven equally popular with child-loving adults and with other toddlers. Nick's adventures continue in Train Boys. Three-year-old train-lover Nick takes a trip with his father to Washington's historic Union Station. In the third film of the trilogy,The Three Spears, we meet Nick's grandfather. Nick's father is now the son, and we see the changes of old age interwoven with the maturation of young Nick.

Holy Days

A collection of four films containing the four High Holy Days services of Reform Judiasm, Holy Days was filmed at Temple Sinai in Washington DC. This is the first time that High Holy Days have ever been available on film.

Toni Morrison's Nobel Acceptance Speech

In 1993, when Toni Morrison, author of Beloved, Sula, and Song of Solomon, became the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, the James Agee Film Project was the only film crew to film her memorable acceptance speech in Stockholm, Sweden. In her speech, Ms. Morrison makes an eloquent plea for the proper use of language in a world in which language is often abused.

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