As a native Southerner (I was born and mostly raised in Charlotte, North Carolina), I have developed a predisposition to protect and defend entertainment and the media's portrayals of that oft-maligned region, even if it often provides reasons to deserve maligning. Typically this means personal apoplexy when actors bastardize accents or films set their stories in locales where the heat index is considered higher than the median IQ. But it also means highlighting films and filmmakers who treat the South with intelligence, and further, who celebrate its inconsistencies and contradictions with sensitivity.

Paige Williams' Mississippi Queen is, superficially, a portrait of the lingering ignorance and intolerance of Southerners to homosexuality, manifested through tradition and religion. But it's also a surprisingly intimate and thoughtful portrait of one woman's efforts to investigate and understand that intolerance, and her attempt to reconcile her lifestyle with loved ones who still haven't come to terms with the fact that it isn't merely a "choice."
categories Cinematical