“Parker’s doc is a genuine achievement on numerous fronts, so make sure to take this chance to see it. Her keen eye for South L.A.’s domestic spaces brings us novel views of the area’s street corners, buildings facades and downbeat interiors, South Main’s spaces simultaneously stark, architectural and pointedly lived-in. Parker’s unpretentious camera is most at home plopped down directly and straightforwardly before her subjects, but South Main is never static, the unblinking set-ups painterly while also evoking the “hidden camera” aesthetic of reality television and urban surveillance. She also hands the camera off to her subjects’ children for numerous scenes, creating a raw, active and participatory visual track.
Ultimately though, it’s the stories of these women that make South Main such a striking experience. One woman describes holding her her fiance as he dies of a gunshot wound. Another tries to navigate a confusing entitlement system that penalizes her for getting a paying a job. Told exclusively in their own words and unadorned by cross-cutting or music vid-style soundtracks, the voices of South Main’s women are an understated and needed complement to the kind of media-savvy, male bravado one finds in almost two-decades worth of ‘hood flicks and docs like Stacy Peralta’s Made In America, which is getting a high profile roll-out this summer. The men in Peralta’s Made in America may be fighting a war, but it’s good to be reminded that they are loved, buried and remembered by Parker’s mother’s, wives, sisters and girlfriends.” - Holly Willis