The Great Flood (2012)

Dale Hudson, Patricia R. Zimmermann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This essay analyzes The Great Flood by Bill Morrison through multiple lenses of environmental issues, the racialization of environmental disasters, compilation film, and experimental music. The Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 was one of the worst environmental disasters in US history, displacing over half a million people and contributing to the Great Migration of African Americans to northern and midwestern cities. Organized in 12 conceptual chapters, The Great Flood employs formal elements atypical even of independent cinema in deploying archival footage from Fox Movietone Newsfilm Library and the National Archives to reframe this so-called natural disaster as a consequence of overdevelopment, interferences with natural systems, and racialized capitalism.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationScreening American Independent Film
EditorsJustin Wyatt, Wyatt D. Phillips
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-24693-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-16060-3, 978-1-032-16062-7
StatePublished - May 31 2023


  • environmental studies
  • Documentary
  • Documentary film
  • archival media
  • compilation film
  • jazz
  • racism
  • environmental racism
  • Disaster
  • Development
  • Great Depression


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