Why You Need to Watch “Dixieland.”

If you are a “Yankee” or anyone who does not understand how hard life is in the deep south, someone that wants to be exposed to a new culture, socioeconomic area and anyone who wants to experience something completely different in a vicarious medium then Dixieland is a great film to watch.  This film is incredibly authentic to the “deep south,” Mississippi trailer park culture because of the portrayal of the two protagonists of the story, Kermit, and Rachel.

Personally, I think this is Romeo and Juliet meets a southern Mississippi trailer park. But that is for you to watch the film and decide.

The logline states:

“Fresh out of jail, a decent young man tries to go straight, until he falls for his pretty neighbor and makes a desperate stab at giving them a better life.”

Dixieland stars Chris Zylka, Riley Keough and Faith Hill who portray extremely authentic characters. The film is paced at a rhythm that drums to a beat to what life is like in the deep south. Which, I think gives it the authentic feel that I touched on earlier. The cinematography of this film was unique to me, containing different movements of the camera from scene to scene as if the director handed off the camera to someone who lived in a Mississippi trailer park and told him to shoot the film. I say that in the right way because the cinematography was absolutely raw and honest, giving the film an authentic look that I had never seen in this culture before.
My favorite part of this film is how there were about eight or nine random characters who spoke directly to the camera telling anecdotes about their life and hardship that they have gone through being a drug dealer, ex-convict, stripper and etc. and how they had overcome those things of their past.

The central theme of this film is “change.” Kermit, played by Chris Zylka, gets out of prison and has no plan on ever returning no matter what. He doesn’t want to break his “Mama’s” heart again, so he tries to avoid trouble. Faith Hill plays his “Mama,” portraying her as a tough-loving mother who has her own personal problems but chooses to stay healthy through the thick of life. Kermit decides that he is going to be a barber and wants to stick with that plan. But, there is a flip side to every coin: Kermit meets the girl next door, Rachel, played by Riley Keough whose mother falls ill to cancer. She turns to dancing at the local strip club to pay the bills for her mother. Throughout the film, you can see Rachel and Kermit’s romance grow in a tasteful and charming southern romance. But, Kermit has to deal with temptation, money, drugs and Rachel’s hardships: a confrontation happens at the strip club, causing her to quit and she suddenly cannot pay her mother’s hospital bills. Being a man of action, Kermit decides to toe the line one more time so that Rachel does not have to strip anymore.

A fellow screenwriter once told me that, “Everything a man does in life, is for a woman.” If you don’t understand that, then watch this film, and I guarantee that you will.

If you want to see a film that will give you a new outlook on how people deal with the pressures of change in life and how sometimes doing the wrong thing for the right people who you love can be the right thing, then I strongly suggest that you watch Dixieland on Netflix. Above all, you will be totally indulged with this film because you will have a better understanding of the southern lifestyle due to the stories ability to persuade you to empathize with the characters.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

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