Being a Joines: A Life in the Brushy Mountains
John E. “Frail” Joines was a master tale teller from Wilkes County, North Carolina, on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. His hunting tales, stories from World War II, and religious narratives mirror changes that have swept away the mountain folk community in a single generation and show the character and values with which his family met these circumstances.
For the first time, fans of Tom Davenport’s documentaries can own Being a Joines on DVD. Viewers watch as stories emerge directly from the Joinses’ everyday life—sitting on the porch, hanging laundry, and socializing at the livestock auction. The tales they tell are both funny and sad, poignant and wistful. Taken together, they show how the Joinses and their community reflect and re-create local culture through storytelling.
Produced with the Curriculum in Folklore at UNC, Chapel Hill.
Film by Tom Davenport, Allen Tullos, Joyce Joines Newman, Daniel Patterson (55 min.)
Soldier Jack, or The Man Who Caught Death in a Sack (40 min., ages 8-adult) Directed by Tom Davenport.
From Box: “Adapted from an Appalachian Jack Tale and set in the late 1940s, this tale follows a World War II veteran named Jack who, in return for an act of kindness, receives two magical gifts: a sack that can catch anything and a jar that can show whether a sick person will recover or die.
The American Library Association: Notable Children’s Film and Notable Film for Young Adults
First Prize: International Festival of Childrens’ Films
First Prize: Best film for young adults – The New York Film and Video Festival
First Prize: Best short subject – The Chicago International Film Festival
Also featured on DVD: Making Grimm Movies (60 min.)
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