Director Dee Rees’ new film, Mudbound, follows two southern families before, during, and after World War II. One family is white, one black. Centering on the complex relationships between the two families, the film explores how different generations dealt with societal changes which inevitably followed the war. The multiple narrators bring a sense of both internal and external character development as the events unfold. Of the novel, Barbara Kingsolver said “Her characters walked straight out of 1940s Mississippi and into the part of my brain where sympathy and anger and love reside, leaving my heart racing. They are with me still.”

Strong female characters ground the story as it tells of the challenges returning soldiers with different world views as they return to family and a small Mississippi community that hasn’t weathered the storms and triumphs they have seen half a world away. A spoilery conversation on this ensemble film about war at home and abroad.

Find out what our panelists think, featuring host Erroll Southers and guests Alex Ago, Lt. Col. Olivia Nelson, and Rodney To.

Let us know what you think of the film and our conversation at Facebook or Twitter.


To listen to the Price Projection Room discussion of Mudbound click the arrow in the player at the top of this post. Or download and subscribe through Apple PodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play.

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What to read/watch next …

Mudbound (novel)
A Soldier’s Story (film)
Paisan (film)
Five Came Back (documentary)
Ta-Nehisi Coates Asks: Who’s French? Who’s American? (New York Times)
Poverty, PTSD … (Newsweek)
The Handmaid’s Tale (podcast, series, book)


This podcast is sponsored by Price Video Services and USC Bedrosian Center,
and continues ongoing efforts to bring policy and its impact into the public discourse.

Special thanks to Dean Jack Knott, USC Price; Dean David Bridel, USC School of Dramatic Arts; and Dean Elizabeth Daley, USC Cinematic Arts for their support of this interdisciplinary conversation. 

This podcast was produced by Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz, recorded and mixed by Corey Hedden.

Executive Director, Bedrosian Center on Governance Aubrey Hicks is the Executive Director at the Bedrosian Center, where she overseas day-to-day operations, including content management and podcast production for the Center. Prior to joining the Bedrosian Center, Aubrey served as the Program Coordinator at The POGIL Project, a national professional development organization for educators. She also served as an academic reference librarian at Moravian College and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her work as a librarian led her to publishing: she worked in marketing and journal administration at Elsevier Science and Cornell University Press, and briefly served as Managing Editor for the Journal of Public Policy. She holds a degree in English from Moravian College and an MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. For more information, see her LinkedIn page.

Jonathan Schwartz Jonathan Schwartz has spent over 10 years in the corporate video space with a specialization in production and marketing to fully realize, protect, and enhance a company’s brand through video. Projects that Jonathan has produced/directed have been featured in national marketing campaigns - distributed both on the web and broadcast television. Jonathan also has an extensive technical background which he leverages to build state of the art and award winning digital delivery systems. Currently, Jonathan is the Director of Video Productions and Operations at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy where he has designed and implemented cost-effective streaming and video solutions/workflows which has allowed the University to reduce costs and bring production in-house. Jonathan came to USC from Celebrity Cruises, where he designed and implemented their on-board closed circuit IP-TV station / delivery system for their Solstice Class of ships. Jonathan also has a passion for the narrative space, and produces / directs short films that are often featured in film festivals around the country. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California - School of Cinematic Arts.