DVD REVIEW: THE LAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI JUKES
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
The Blues never fails to move us, racism never fails to horrify and offend us, history never fails to amaze us, and heartfelt, selfless humanity never fails to rally us to believe that maybe the world isn’t as fucked as it looks – and this lovingly produced documentary has all four in abundance.
Originally made in 2003 by Robert Mugge, The Last of the Mississippi Jukes details the fight to save one of the last of the Mississippi Juke Joints, The Subway, a training ground for countless blues musicians for decades, as well as a rally point for the coloured community, located in the only local hotel who would allow blacks to stay during the segregation era.
Mugge jam-packs his story with plenty of appearances from minor blues stars of the area, actor and fellow Juke Joint owner Morgan Freeman, and a host of local identities, to show not only the integral part The Subway and Juke Joints of its ilk played in the history of not only Blues music, but also the civil rights movement.
Despite a long campaign to save The Subway, the building’s structural decay proved too devastating, and it was bulldozed. Despite this, we’re left with a moving record of what it meant, and a tribute to the people who made it so important.
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