The Great Flood

Date: Monday, April 14
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: Nickelodeon Theatre
Genre: Documentary Feature


The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in American history. In the spring of 1927, the river broke out of its banks in 145 places and inundated 27,000 square miles to a depth of up to 300 feet. Part of its enduring legacy was the mass exodus of displaced sharecroppers. Musically, the “Great Migration” of rural southern blacks to Northern cities saw the Delta Blues electrified and reinterpreted as the Chicago Blues, Rhythm and Blues, and Rock and Roll. Drawing upon archival footage from the period, including film from the Fox Movietone News Collection at Moving Image Research Collections, filmmaker Bill Morrison and composer/guitarist Bill Frisell have created a powerful portrait of a seminal moment in American history. With minimal text and no spoken dialog, The Great Flood matches spellbinding silent images to a searing original soundtrack.

Screening sponsored by USC Libraries. Introduction by Heather Heckman (Director, Moving Image Research Collections, USC Libraries).

Directed by Bill Morrison

80 min