Caruthersville Residents Weigh in on "Misery Missouri" Documentary

Caruthersville Residents Weigh in on "Misery Missouri" Documentary
By: Holly Brantley

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. - A string of teenage suicides and a tornado's destruction are the focus of a new documentary called "Misery Missouri."

It's the true story of Caruthersville's struggles in 2006, as told by St. Louis filmmaker Mark Andrew Philip.

People in Caruthersville have mixed reactions to the film.  Most have only seen the film's trailer or read about it online.  However, the subject itself is enough to raise emotions of people in the small close-knit community, especially those who knew the victims of the suicides and felt the wrath of the tornado.

Friends of the boys who took their own lives say the trailer is hard to watch.

"It's hard," said B. J. Flippo.  Flippo is the brother of Hawk Callens, one of the suicide victims. "Things like people making documentaries is getting on people's nerves.  Let the boys rest.  We've been through too much.  Their families have been through too much."

Flippo and Brittney Cannon feel a film about the tornado is one thing, but the suicides should've been left out.

"We regret what they did.  We hate it.  But, we still love them," said Flippo.

"It's really ridiculous," said Cannon.

Angelia Foreman and Annie Mullins say the clips bring back memories.  Their homes were damaged in the tornado.

"I have mixed emotions.  I think a lot of people will have mixed emotions," said Mullins.

"It needs to go down in history," said Foreman. "But you really need to get someone who's been through the storm to speak the storm."

According to Mark Andrew Philip, the movie includes a history of Caruthersville.  It goes into the tornado and its aftermath as well as the suicides.  There's also a look at the rebuilding and the 150th anniversary of Caruthersville.

"I would love to see it myself," said Foreman.

Others aren't sure if they want to see it, but hope people won't judge Caruthersville by the documentary's title.

"We might not have a lot to do here, but we love this town," said Flippo.

According to the filmmaker, he wants people to understand he's made a documentary about a devastating 2006 for Caruthersville that includes the tornado and the suicides. He hopes to have a screening of the film in Pemiscot County soon.

Then, he'd like to clear up some misconceptions about "Misery Missouri."

View a trailer for "Misery Missouri."