In "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird," why do two men want to film Granny's family?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

They claim to be making a film for the county. It would seem that the authorities want to document the true scale of poverty in the locality, and are using poor families like Granddaddy Cain's to illustrate the point. Unfortunately for the hapless film-makers, neither Granddaddy Cain nor his wife are willing to play ball. They regard these intruders as a total nuisance and want them out of their hair as soon as possible.

The film-makers seem to be operating on the basis of the racist assumption that, because this family is African American, they're on welfare. Whereas in actual fact, the Cains are a hard-working, self-reliant family who don't take kindly to being portrayed in such an unflattering light. So it's not surprising that Granddaddy Cain smashes the men's video camera and sends them packing.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "Blues Ani't No Mockin Bird," the filmmakers explain that they are filming a documentary movie for the county that presents information on the Federal and State Food Stamp Program to help families living below the poverty level to buy food. The filmmaker whom the narrator calls Smilin is the one who does most of the talking as he explains the project and their need, or desire, to include Granny Cain's family in the documentary. The filmmakers are accompanied by a cameraman who is told by Granny to leave. He backs further away from the Cain home though, as a hired employee working with the filmmakers, he doesn't leave.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial