The Possum Drop (November 8)

Screening:  The Possum Drop directed by Mindy Keeley
Friday, November 8
Annenberg Auditorium, Carswell Hall
7:00 p.m.

A whimsical documentary that reveals the age-old tale of outsider influence on a community but with a curious twist.

A whimsical documentary that reveals the age-old tale of outsider influence on a community but with a curious twist, The Possum Drop is a film that will leave the viewer rooting for the underdog. The traditions of this rustic artsy town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Brasstown, are being threatened by exterior forces. The town’s New Year’s Eve festivities of the past 18 years could be coming to an abrupt halt because the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants to stop the annual possum drop. One resident has said, “the possum drop is the best thing that has ever happened to this town”. The possum drop is an occurrence where the folks in Brasstown lower a possum, placed in a glass box with air holes, during their New Year’s Eve countdown and celebration.

PETA believes that “using a captive opossum as the centerpiece of a raucous party is cruel and illegal” and filed a lawsuit against the North Carolina Wildlife Commission for issuing the permit that allows the capturing and temporary captivity of the possum. Clay Logan, the owner of the local corner store named Clay’s Corner and founder of the possum drop, says that it’s a lot of good clean family fun, alcohol free, and not harmful to the possum which is released back into the wild after the event. Clay Logan is a full-spirited businessman who loves to share a joke and some gossip with all of the local townsfolk or tourists who visit his corner store to buy a coke or some possum paraphernalia.

The Possum Drop seeks to show how Brasstown’s population is handling the news of potentially losing their cherished possum drop through observational footage and interviews. It becomes apparent that the possum drop stands for a lot more to this community than the actual lowering of the possum itself. Instead, it stands for holding on to a local tradition and not giving in to pressure from the outside world. The people of Brasstown do not accept PETA’s claim that they are doing anything wrong and feel that outsiders should not be interfering with their lives.

The Possum Drop is a comedic, heartwarming film with the running time of 30 minutes in length. The documentary utilizes different styles of approach including observational scenes of Clay Logan in different settings but focuses on him at his corner store. The actual possum drop and the hearings are all shot observational style, as well.

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