As Darren Aronofsky’s Noah steams towards multiplexes, this new film from Bill Morrison needs no digital trickery to show the damage that water can do.
It’s built up from hours of archive footage filmed in 1927, when the Mississippi’s banks broke in 145 different places and forced thousands of people from their homes. There are some familiar sights – families fished from their front doorsteps into dinghies, a couple stranded on a car-roof – and like Hurricane Katrina, it’s a natural disaster that throws man-made inequality into sharp relief. Threaded through the whole film is a beautiful score by jazz legend Bill Frisell, who hints at the way this mass migration northwards helped to change music forever.
Dir: Bill Morrison / USA 2013 / 78 mins