Oaksie (Film)


  •  Anthony Slone
  •  1979
  • Color IconColor
  •  23:17
  •  16 mm film
Film Description
Oaksie is a portrait of Eastern Kentucky basketmaker, fiddler, and harp player Oaksie Caudill. The film follows Caudill through the steps of making a basket, from selecting the “right” tree to splitting and pressing down the white oak, whittling the rib to the final act of weaving the oak strips together. Throughout the film, Caudill's basket-making is interspersed with his fiddle and harp playing, a primitive style evolved from early Baptist church music in which each low action of the bow hits one note — the lead note or melody of the song — as when a human voice sings. Caudill captures the feel and spirit of a man who has spent his lifetime surrounded by beauty, as well as the traditional folk arts still common today in Appalachia.

Screenings & Festivals
  • Columbus International Film Festival
  • FilmSouth Award, Converse College
  • San Francisco International Film Festival

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“Oaksie is concerned with making baskets, not with maintaining some folkloric ideal of purity. The film shows the integration in real life of folk arts and the role of those arts in real life.” — Journal of American Folklore
“Bears witness to the clear sense of pride and satisfaction this man feels both in his fiddling and in his ability to create an object not only practical but beautiful.” — Media Review