blue meridian
a film by SOFIE BENOOT

documentary, 80 minutes, HD, 2010
produced by auguste orts
with the support of vlaams audiovisueel fonds, centre du cinéma et de l'audiovisuel de la communauté française de belgique

watch the film online

Following the Mississippi River from Cairo, Illinois to Venice, Louisiana, Blue Meridian is a captivating journey through the dilapidated and worn out Deep South of the United States of America. A cinematographic encounter with people living among the traces of natural disasters, economic decline and a turbulent history. The Mississippi River flows both through the Deep South and the imagination of the American nation; it draws the border between the East and the West of the country, but also the division between the North and the South. As a blue meridian, it represents the complex relation between place and identity in North America. The film portrays people living in the decay of semi abandoned places, who try to rebuild, preserve and survive, in an attempt to take a stand in their land and its history. Flooding, civil rights movement riots, racism, real estate speculation have caused people to leave these towns and cities. Blue Meridian tells the story of their endeavors to make the American promises true. A critical but emphatic look on America.

director, camera: sofie benoot
assistent director: liesbeth de ceulaer
camera: fairuz
editing: tom denoyette, sofie benoot
sound: kwinten van laethem, senjan jansen
production: auguste orts, atelier graphoui

"Instead of focussing on one of the ‘big themes’ that constitute its inevitable backdrop, Blue Meridian gives priority to the ‘small’, untold, personal stories of the people struggling to survive in the cities and towns that she visits along the Mississippi River."
Maria Palacios Cruz for P engine

"Interspersing long shots of members of riverside communities singing, talking, musing, with vibrant shots of the regional geography, Benoot crafts an outsider's perspective of rural America."

"Zeg nooit zomaar ‘documentaire’ tegen de films van Sofie Benoot. Ze grijpt haar beelden uit het leven, maar uiteindelijk is het haar eigen werkelijkheid die ze ermee toont. ‘Blue Meridian’ is haar tweede bespiegeling op een ongrijpbaar Amerika."