Natchez story finding global audience

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Watch out world. The legend of Nellie Jackson is coming to an Internet device near you.

Two years after unveiling their documentary about the local Natchez bordello owner, documentary filmmakers Mark Brockway and Tim Givens announced their film is now available on the streaming service Amazon Prime.

Already shown to limited audiences across the country, distribution by Amazon has the potential to be a  big deal for the documentary and Natchez, too.

Email newsletter signup

Since debuting at the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration in 2017, the film has been shown to packed houses at eight film festivals across the country, including the Oxford Film Festival and the New Orleans Film Festival.

Givens said the film has been shown to approximately 400 people at the eight festivals.

Since debuting on Amazon Prime, the film has been seen by a few more than 1,000 people. That is more than twice the number of people who had viewed the documentary since it was on the film circuit last year.

As of Monday, the film had a five-star rating and positive comments from viewers.

Givens said he is thankful for the notice that the film has received from locals but hopes the story will reach a much broader audience.

“I would go as far as to say it is a pretty good advertisement for Natchez because you get to see the flavor and the character of the town itself,” Givens said.

We agree. We hope the complicated story of Nellie Jackson — an African-American woman who persevered through the civil rights era in a profession that admittedly would be disturbing using today’s standards, but who also demonstrated “a heart of gold” — is viewed on telephone and computer screens across the globe.

Thanks to Brockway and Givens for telling this compelling local story to the world and for continuing to be great ambassadors for Natchez.