Down South

Poet, MarShawn McCarrel, takes us on an unapologetic spoken-word journey about the legacy of slavery in the United States.

  • Bob Yothers
  • MarShawn McCarrel & Bob Yothers
  • Sheila M. Fagan
  • MarShawn McCarrel
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Music Video, Short
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 16, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Raindance Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    European Premiere
  • Mill Valley Film Festival
    Mill Valley
    United States
    North American Premiere
  • Wexner Center Ohio Shorts Festival
    United States
    April 29, 2017
  • Vienna Independent Film Festival
    July 7, 2017
    Nominated: Golden Statuette for Best Short Film
  • LimeFlicks Film Festival
    September 17, 2017
Director Biography - Bob Yothers

A native of central, Ohio, Bob, traveled to Los Angeles in the 1990's with the proverbial 'suitcase full of dreams.' With varying degrees of success he worked in and around Hollywood as a graphic designer, director and award-winning screenwriter for 17-years demonstrating again and again his passion for the art of film.

More recently he has traveled throughout Europe shooting promotional videos for various American Study Abroad programs, taught film and cinema marketing at a top international business school in Paris, and is currently in post-production for an upcoming Dutch musical shot in central Amsterdam called ‘Pale Blue Dot.’

Bob strives to not only make his films entertaining, but to be spiritually conscious and offer some form of positive social change.

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Director Statement

Thank you for experiencing 'Down South.' It was a deep pleasure and honour to collaborate with MarShawn McCarrel in its creation.

From the beginning we believed that any sober conversation about the legacy of slavery in America includes words and symbols which were (and are still) used in an effort to terrorize African-American communities. Hence it was an artistic decision to show powerful images: nooses, burning crosses, religious symbols, etc. along with the use of strong language as part of our artistic expression. Every effort was made to be historically accurate and keep everything in context. We thank you for appreciating this and hope we've lived up to your expectations.

Tragically, MarShawn was never able to see the final version of this film...In February of 2016 he committed suicide on the Statehouse steps in our hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

I can only speculate about the true inner turmoil and real outside forces that led him to this place of despair - but I'm certain much of what he spoke about in our movie was a contributing factor.

I hope that MarShawn's words and my images act as a starting point to open an unflinching, sincere and honest conversation about the experience of race in America. (Systemic racism, the school to prison pipeline, white privilege, payday loans and predatory lending, absentee fathers, the influence of the church, police interaction, etc.) And it is only through these conversations, will our collective demons be released and someone as amazing as MarShawn will feel like there is still some hope left in this world and will chose to stay in it.

Thank you once again for sharing this experience,
Bob Yothers