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Walter Edgar's Journal: Film critic Ben Beard continues his journey through the South on screen

Ben Beard
Courtesy of the author
Ben Beard

In his book, The South Never Plays Itself, author, and film critic Ben Beard explores the history of the Deep South on screen, beginning with silent cinema and ending in the streaming era, from President Wilson to President Trump, from musical to comedy to horror to crime to melodrama. Opinionated, obsessive, sweeping, often combative, sometimes funny―a wild narrative tumble into culture both high and low―Beard attempts to answer the haunting question: what do movies know about the South that we don’t?

This is a return visit for Ben – we had so much fun talking about movies last time, we asked him back!

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.