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Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort South Carolina, May 1940 (1940)

| Documentary, Short
Field recordings of religious services in a South Carolina Gullah community.

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Field recordings of religious services in a South Carolina Gullah community.

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gullah | ethnographic | religion | See All (3) »

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Documentary | Short

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Quotes

Preacher: [Repeated line] Ain't that right? Amen.
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Featured in The Films of Zora Neale Hurston (2016) See more »

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A Record
1 August 2016 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Zonal Neale Hurston was a novelist, an folklorist and an anthropologist. She is best remembered for her 1930s novel "Their Eyes We're Watching God". As the title of this piece indicates, this was shot in 1940 in Beaufort, South Carolina. It's not precisely the work of Miss Hurston. It's an excerpt of her work, with an unsynchronized soundtrack. It is a fascinating, well shot and interestingly edited documentary: enough so that it was added to the National Film Registry in 2005.

Its importance lies not in it being a good film, but in being an anthropological record -- and almost certainly in it being a work by a Black woman about Black people. It's not a piece you're likely to watch for pleasure, except for the leisure you're likely to take in seeing a good record of peoples' true behavior at a certain time and place in history.


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