Published On: Wed, Sep 1st, 2010
A&E / News | By

New Documentary has Cherokee Influence

Whatever you think a documentary about the Blue Ridge Parkway would be – this probably isn’t what you would expect. It is definitely not a travelogue. Documentary filmmaker Bruce Bowers and Bowers Media Group, Inc., present a film entitled, the Parkway, but Bowers’ historical documentary is first to break news by revealing a stunning secret deal that determined the route of the Parkway and altered the course of American society.

The hour‐long documentary also takes a fascinating look at the people along the Parkway corridor and addresses how the scenic road affected their lives and cultures. It may be surprising to some that the 469 mile long Parkway was not universally welcomed in the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, and many people fought against it.

The documentary contains a significant Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians presence including interviews with Amanda Swimmer, Jerry Wolfe, Faren Sanders Crews and Freeman Owle. The opening song is by Bo Taylor and Eddie Bushyhead performs river cane flute music throughout. (Eastern Band Cherokee tribal consultant is Faren Sanders Crews.)

This controversial documentary has been guided both by noted Ph.D. historians and by ordinary people who helped to build the Parkway. The Parkway changed lives in unexpected ways. The Blue Ridge Parkway is, by far,the most visited component of the National Park Service. The documentary premieres on September 5 in Charlotte and is currently scheduled to air statewide in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. It is also scheduled in Atlanta (GA) and Jacksonville (FL). The program is being distributed national to more than 350 PBS stations nationally and internationally. (Check your local listings.)

In addition to Bowers, a national award‐winning television reporter/producer, the documentary is co‐produced and co‐written by Daniel Hayes. Both Bowers and Hayes grew up in Wilkes County near the Parkway and learned about it from an early age. Director of photography is award‐winning cinematographer Charles Shedd.

DVD copies will be available Sept.15.   For more information, visit, www.BlueRidgeDocumentary.com

Source: Bowers Media Group release

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