New to DVD and VOD this week:
Bentonville, SF Doc Fest
A portrait of a small Louisiana town known for its charm school.
Bogalusa, Louisiana developed as a company town around the world’s largest sawmill in the 1900s. Today, the paper mill that replaced it accounts for most of the town’s economy. Director Steve Richardson returns to his hometown to craft an understated, even rough-hewn, but revealing portrait in his almost Errol Morris-like slice of small-town Americana. At its core is Miss Dixie, who has run her summertime Smoky Creek Charm School for girls for nearly three decades. Representing the traditional Southern way, the school extols old-fashioned etiquette and gender roles, and is noticeably primarily geared toward nice, white, Christian girls. Other Bogalusa residents speak more candidly about the Southern town’s relationship to race and religion, both historic and present-day, notably Sandy, who owns local restaurant Birdie’s Roadhouse. Though a smaller film, it maintains viewer interest in piecing together its mosaic of provincial Southern life.