At the Little Rock Film Festival in May, the Oxford American was proud to honor Bayou Maharajah: the Tragic Genius of James Booker, directed by Lily Keber, with the 2013 Best Southern Film Award. We would argue that Keber's film is one of most culturally important documentaries made in recent years.
Jeff Nichols's third film is a universal story told with a Southern working-class voice that's nearly unparalleled in modern American cinema. OA contributor Linc Leifeste interviewed Nichols about his Southern roots, his relationship with actor Michael Shannon, and some of the themes that run through his films.
Ronald Dominique raped and murdered twenty-three men near New Orleans and Houma, Louisiana, between 1997 and 2006. Most of them were poor and black, and many were the wandering type—men Dominique picked up in his truck at night, not ones whose disappearances for a stretch of time would particularly alarm their families. After one of Dominique’s would-be victims escaped and alerted authorities, a task force that had been assembled to investigate the murders matched Dominique’s DNA to DNA found on one of the bodies. Dominique confessed over a period of two days to all of the killings.