Deliverance Anniversary: Ga., SC Communities Celebrate Film’s 40th Anniversary
The 40th anniversary of “Deliverance” is being celebrated in Georgia and South Carolina mountain communities, despite the film’s portrayal of the residents as uneducated hillbillies.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that, while some residents still dislike the movie, the film has helped create a $20 million rafting and outdoor sports industry along the Chattooga river, which runs between Georgia and South Carolina.
Several movies have been filmed in the area since “Deliverance,” which serve to show the natural beauty of the area, including “Killing Season,” which will be released in 2013 and includes Robert DeNiro and John Travolta.
According to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, communities along the Chattooga River will hold a celebration for the film’s 40th anniversary with the first ever Chattooga River Festival, despite some locals protesting the idea of reminding the world of their connection to the iconic film.
The Republic reports that Stan Darnell, chairman of the Rabun County, Georgia board of commissioners, stated:
“It’s one of those cases where some good comes out of most everything. Certainly a lot of good came out of that, as far as opening up film industry, the kayaking, the camping.”
According to The Republic, Darnell described the movie “Deliverance” by saying:
“It portrays Rabun County as backward, uneducated, scary, deviant inbred hillbillies. Even today when ‘Deliverance’ is mentioned, it raises unpleasant unfounded images of the wonderful Appalachian hardworking people that live in this region. I would like it more if it had just been the Chattooga River Festival. I would not have had ‘Deliverance’ as part of it.”
The movie “Deliverance” is based on a novel by Georgia Native James Dickey. When asked about his reason for writing the book, Dickey stated he got the idea while living in an Italian village. He explained:
“I saw a figure standing at the edge of a cliff. And I thought: ‘Who is it? What is he doing there? Did he come from the woods, inland … or did he come up it? Why would he do that?’ It all began to come together. Then I put a river down there.”