The Main Stream

Humorist Roy Blount, Jr. takes an offbeat journey down the Mississippi River, the literal and figurative Main Stream of America. Blount's unpredictable odyssey celebrates the full range of American diversity and eccentricity -- from a wedding ceremony at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, to a rodeo at America's toughest prison in Angola, Louisiana.

Like Mark Twain, Blount is a displaced Southerner with the wit and wisdom to capture contemporary life. Blount introduces an unforgettable cast of characters and explores what holds this wildly diverse country together. He throws himself into unique Mississippi River events and viewers meet such memorable characters as Garrison Keillor, who challenges Blount to a stone-skipping contest; Winona LaDuke, an Ojibwe activist who twice ran for Vice President of the U.S.; Kenny Salway, a reclusive environmentalist who spent 28 years living alone in the swamp; and Wilbert Rideau, an award-winning newspaper editor serving a life sentence for murder.

Many of the communities and individuals featured in the film are struggling with beliefs and lifestyles that fall outside of mainstream culture. There are Native Americans battling to reclaim tribal lands and traditions; African Americans working with Greenpeace to fight environmental racism; and homesteaders contending for the right to live in old boathouses. Ultimately, the film celebrates diversity, eccentricity, and freedom of expression, as Blount concludes that America is not nearly as homogeneous as he feared. With its unusual blend of humor, irreverence, and insight, The Main Stream will stimulate animated discussion in a range of courses in American studies, history, sociology, ethnic studies and cultural anthropology.

Related Subjects: 

First Prize, Feature Documentary, Empire State Film Festival, 2001
Philadelphia Int'l Film Festival, honoree, 2001
Toronto Documentary Forum honoree, 2001
St. Louis Int'l Film Festival, honoree, 2001


"Entertaining nad informative, witty and thoughtful, the production by this award-winning director is of the highest technical quality. The research, writing, cinematography and editing are faultless. Highly recommended." Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University for EMRO

"A highly entertaining description of the diversity -- socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, geographic -- along the banks of the Mississippi River." Judith A. Howard, Prof. of Sociology and Chair, Dept. of Women's Studies, Univ. of Washington

"This appealing film would make a useful starting point for discussions about the contribution of local knowledge to national culture, and would be particularly suited to introductory courses in cultural anthropology and sociology, and to courses at all levels in environmental studies and American culture." -- Judith L. Goldstein, Prof. of Anthropology,Vassar College

The Main Stream


Type Price
Streaming Access (1-year) $149.00
Streaming Access (3-year) $299.00
Streaming Access (Perpetual) $499.00
DVD $99.00
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