WEAVER – Song of the South 1946 Review
Song of the South (1946) Review
Ruth Warrick (Actor), Bobby Driscoll (Actor), Harve Foster (Director), Wilfred Jackson (Director) | Rated: G | Format: DVD
While sitting on my porch this morning I was visited by my friend Chipper, a bold cardinal who thinks he owns the porch and uses it as his. He complained loudly and sure enough when I checked the bird feeder it was out of seed. I filled it purposefully spilling some for all to see and sat down with my coffee to experience the cool morning. As I watched the birds and hummingbirds taking their breakfast, I talked and sang to them as I always do. What came to mind was a wonderful old movie that I first saw at probably age four, The â€œSong of the Southâ€.
I thought how fitting it would be for that old movie to be re-released at this time. With all of the racial tension brewing, this gentle movie depicts both in allegory, fable, and real sense, the struggle and uniting of brothers and sisters of different races. As the Brer and Sis stories of Uncle Remus unfold, Their message could have an impact on todayâ€™s children just as they did on me and my generation. The depiction of racial distrust is defined and then diffused with an innocence and joy derived from the stories told by Uncle Remus and the songs many of us still enjoy today. Who can forget â€œZippidy Doo Dahâ€ and â€œHappy Placeâ€? There is plenty of real life struggle within this story that relates both to the sharecropping times of the then and the racial drama of today, but the moral results of the movie offer some great resolve and food for thought for young and old minds alike. The movie was taken out of circulation first in 1970, re-released and then taken out in 1986 due it is believed to racist stigma. It is available on Amazon and a few other places.
Please read the following excerpt from a good review.
â€œMany people are aware that the film was based on Joel Chanbdler Harris’ 1881 book “Uncle Remus’ Songs and Sayings” and that the white Georgian Harris based his book on the “Brer (brother) animal tales” passed orally among African-American slaves. What most people don’t know is that a decade earlier, another white writer named Abbie Holmes Christensen recorded Brer Rabbit tales being told among ex-slaves around Port Royal, SC for her pioneering book “Afro-American Folktales.” I have met many older African-Americans in rural South Carolina who had heard “rabbit stories” (as they are called among the indigenous) from their elders without knowing of Harris or this movie. So this is a legitimate part of Black culture.—-
So if you want an accurate history of Blacks during this era, not quite! But if you believe that children should be exposed to the joys of storytelling and the idea that friendship goes beyond age, race, and social class-then this is for the children and for the child in you! Enjoy-and think! â€œ
By African American historian
Andre M. “brnn64″ (Mt. Pleasant, SC United States)