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.
What to read/watch next …
A Soldier’s Story (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.