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Daughter of the White River

In Depression-Era Arkansas, River People lived free in floating communities of houseboats. Houseboat girl Helen Spence avenged her father's death to become a teenage folk hero and legendary badass the world needs today.

  • Beverly Denise Parkinson
    Destroy Memphis
  • Julie Williams
    Learning Arts
  • Beverly Denise Parkinson
    Destroy Memphis
  • Morris Foundation of Arkansas
    Champion Trees: an Artist's Journey
  • Lilie Lim
    Key Cast
    "Helen Spence"
  • Steve Helms
    Key Cast
    "Frank Martin"
  • Kayce Glasse
    Key Cast
    "Ms. Brockman"
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    True Crime, Historical Drama, Love Story
  • Runtime:
    49 minutes 54 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 8, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    digital; digitized 8 mm footage
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Beverly Denise Parkinson, Julie Williams

Arkansas author Beverly Denise Parkinson began work on Daughter of the White River, the book and film, over a decade ago. The project has produced the first all-Arkansas made film that confronts the marginalized history of the Delta's River People, a sustainable multiethnic culture that identified with Nature. In folk hero Helen Spence, we discover the original real-life True Grit Girl upon whom the fictional character Mattie Ross was based.

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Director Statement

Come hell or high water, we will tell the story of the River People of the Arkansas Delta.