Stories of our Lives



Set in the rural American South during World War II, Dee Rees' Mudbound is an epic story of two families pitted against one another by a ruthless social hierarchy, yet bound together by the shared farmland of the Mississippi Delta. Mudbound follows the McAllan family, newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis and unprepared for the harsh demands of farming. Despite the grandiose dreams of Henry, his wife Laura struggles to keep the faith in her husband's losing venture. Meanwhile, Hap and Florence Jackson - sharecroppers who have worked the land for generations - struggle bravely to build a small dream of their own despite the rigidly enforced social barriers they face. The war upends both families' plans as their returning loved ones, Jamie McAllan and Ronsel Jackson, forge a fast but uneasy friendship that challenges the brutal realities of the Jim Crow South in which they live.

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Discussion Questions

  1. What role do you think perception plays in each of the characters?

  2. What are some of the meanings of the title, Mudbound?

  3. There's a lot in the news lately about white male privilege and the fear of being displaced by diversity in culture.What insight, if any, does this film give to this issue?

  4. How did the film’s cinematography help or hinder the story? Did any scene, image or dialogue stand out for you?

  5. Did the film remind you of any biblical stories or Greek myths? Why is that?

  6. In what way do the inner monologues develop the story and the characters? Why do you think Pappy has no inner monologue?

  7. Which characters are most successful in freeing themselves from what binds them?

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