Shalom Y'all (2003)
Traveling in a vintage Cadillac, filmmaker Brian Bain, a third generation Jew from New Orleans, sets out on a 4200-mile road trip though the American South. Traveling through Delta flatlands, small towns in Mississippi, suburban subdivisions, Texas ranches, and sprawling Sunbelt metropolises what he uncovers is the unique and diverse history of Southern Jews. Along the way, Bain woos his future wife, herself a southern Jew, and discusses Jewish participation in the Civil Rights Movement with Andrew Young. Shalom Y'all is peopled with interesting characters, including Zelda Millstein from Natchez, a hoop-skirted tour guide at a plantation; Leo Center, a Golden Gloves boxing champion from Savannah who learned how to box by literally fighting his way to get to synagogue; Tupelo's Jack Cristil, Mississippi State's football game announcer for nearly a half-century; an African American-Jewish police chief; a kosher butcher; and musician provocateurs Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys. Bain discovers a vibrant regional cultural and hundreds of year of rich history in a film that is happily flavored with both its Jewish and Southern roots.- Written by National Center for Jewish Film
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