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The Ballad of Shirley Collins

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Partly inspired by Shirley Collins' beguiling autobiography 'America Over the Water', the film retells the tale of the famous song-collecting trip Collins took around the Deep South of America with legendary field-recordist Alan Lomax – a trip on which they uncovered and documented the music that would later inspire the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers’ 'O Brother Where Art Thou'. But the real story is more fascinating than the myth...
The film also celebrates Collins role in the folk revival of the 50s, 60s and 70s, when – amongst many other achievements – she and her sister Dolly produced the era’s most defining monuments in their seminal albums 'Anthems in Eden' and 'Love, Death and the Lady'. Largely forgotten outside hardcore folk circles due to her enforced absence from the world stage, the film reclaims Shirley and her sister’s contribution to music for posterity.


Type of film
Running Time
90 mins
Rob Curry, Tim Plester
Paul Williams

Production Company

Fifth Column Films, Burning Bridges Limited