ON SOLID GROUND: THE RIVER RATS OF ARKANSAS
ON SOLID GROUND: THE RIVER RATS OF ARKANSAS (USA, 2008, 48 min.)
World Premiere Along the White River in Arkansas, a unique self-contained culture has existed since before the Civil War. Called "river rats“ by locals, the once vibrant community that lived in floating tar-paper shacks and was completely sustained by fishing and trading on the river, is now on the edge of extinction. Who were these people? Why were they there? Where are they going now? This film documents the story of a nearly lost piece of American culture, which included over 500 people just a few decades ago and today numbers no more than a handful. Soon to be forced from their homes on the river, these people will leave behind no villages or ruins to be uncovered a thousand years from now-only folklore and legend will remain. River Rats includes never-before-seen photographs, interviews with actual "river people" and their descendents and with local "land people." Local American music, rare archival material and recreations capture the rich texture of this largely unknown part of American history before it is forever lost. Directed by Ken Mandel and produced by Melanie Masino.
Introduced by Jeffrey Stine, Chair, Division of Medicine and Science, National Museum of American History. Discussion with filmmakers Ken Mandel and Melanie Masino follows screening.
FREE, no reservations needed.