The Ballad of Frankie Silver
In 1833 Mrs. Frances Silver was hanged in Morganton, North Carolina, for the ax murder of her husband Charles. For a century and a half the case has lived on in newspapers, pamphlets, memoirs, petition, folksong, and legends. Bobby McMillon, a member of the Silver family, learned stories about Frankie as he grew up in the community where the murder took place.
The Ballad of Frankie Silver, like the song itself, grapples with questions of blame, forgiveness, and intergenerational memory. As McMillon searches for answers regarding the murder, he speaks of his inability to see the event as a black-or-white issue. As a result, viewers are treated to a story that rather than assigning blame seeks to establish context and understanding. Why was Frankie Silver not pardoned for a murder that she claims was self-defense? How did attitudes toward women and the justice system in that time and place lay the foundation for this fascinating narrative? (50 mins.) Directed by Tom Davenport.
Also featured on DVD: Making Grimm Movies (60 min.)
Mutzmag: An Appalachian Tale (53 min., ages 10-adult)
Set deep in the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina around 1920, this American folktale is about a plucky young girl named Mutzmag. When her mother dies, Mutzmag and her two gullible sisters decide to leave their tumble-down shack to seek their fortunes in the wide world. The girls lose their way in the forest and end up at the cabin of a wicked witch and her giant husband. Quick witted Mutzmag saves the day with nothing but a pocket knife and a ball of string.