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The Mississippi River - The Soul of America

February 27, 2024

The Mississippi stretches from the glacial lakes in northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. For many Americans, the mighty, almost 4,000-kilometer-long river is closely linked to the nation's history.

 Der Mississippi - Die Seele Amerikas
Image: NDR
 Der Mississippi - Die Seele Amerikas
Image: NDR

People have lived along these riverbanks for several thousand years. Today, the river unites many different cultures and is considered the soul of America. When the Europeans arrived, they colonized the land here, killing and displacing the indigenous peoples. But before that, the Choctaw people lived between present-day Memphis and the mouth of the river near New Orleans. Today, their descendants form the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.




 Der Mississippi - Die Seele Amerikas
Image: NDR

But these central American regions have an image problem. "Flyover states" - places that you only fly over - has become a catchphrase. But if you take a closer look, you’ll discover small and large wonders here, including unique cultures and almost overwhelming nature, as well as old traditions imbued with new life.




 Der Mississippi - Die Seele Amerikas
Image: NDR


Many things are being rediscovered on the banks of the Mississippi, including voodoo in New Orleans. Voodoo has been at home here for a long time and no longer needs to hide itself. Formerly demonized, people are now looking more and more respectfully at the religion. 

The film takes us on a journey from the birthplace of rock'n'roll, Memphis, to the mighty delta of the Mississippi.


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