Minnie Black’s Gourd Band

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Minnie Black is ninety years old but she’s still making music and art out of the gourds she grows in her backyard garden in East Bernstadt, Kentucky. In Minnie Black’s Gourd Band, she talks about the secrets to growing good gourds then takes the viewer on a tour of her Gourd Museum, giving out tips on how to make gourd art while highlighting her favorite creations such as a double-headed donkey and the mythical “griffen” beast. The camera follows Minnie to “the World’s Largest Gourd Convention” in Mt. Gilead, Ohio where fellow artists hail her as “the queen of the gourd people.” Interspersed throughout are some lively and unique versions of hymns and old favorites played by Minnie and her Senior Citizen Gourd Band.

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Description

Directed by: Anne Lewis
1988
Running Time: 28:00
Color

Minnie Black is ninety years old but she’s still making music and art out of the gourds she grows in her backyard garden in East Bernstadt, Kentucky. In Minnie Black’s Gourd Band, she talks about the secrets to growing good gourds then takes the viewer on a tour of her Gourd Museum, giving out tips on how to make gourd art while highlighting her favorite creations such as a double-headed donkey and the mythical “griffen” beast. The camera follows Minnie to “the World’s Largest Gourd Convention” in Mt. Gilead, Ohio where fellow artists hail her as “the queen of the gourd people.” Interspersed throughout are some lively and unique versions of hymns and old favorites played by Minnie and her Senior Citizen Gourd Band.

Reviews

“Not to be missed!” –Eric John, The New York Center for Urban Folk Culture

“Delightful story of a woman rich with love, joy of life, imagination and creativity.” –Bob Gates, Director, Kentucky Folklife Program

“A wonderful tribute to a genuine American original.” –Johnnie Prather, Coordinator, Older Americans Month Film Festival, American Association of Retired People

Screenings & Festivals

City Lore Festival of Film and Video, New York

Museum of Modern Art

Retirement Research Foundation–Silver Owl Award

WTTW/Chicago

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