Oh wow, I hadn’t seen that both these box sets (albeit a limited subset) are on Netflix. Cool!
With just a portion of the film surviving, and in a highly distorted version, there’s not much to be taken from this one. They use it as a testament to the importance of film preservation. I take it as a testament to the importance of digital “film” that doesn’t degrade.
Ten Nights in a Bar Room (1926)
This is a morally troubling story, and reading the wiki of the source novel (none is available regarding this particular adaptation), it seems specific to this interpretation. Central to the film is a conflict between Joe and Simon, once partners at a mill. Apparently Simon orchestrated some plot to take control of the mill and Joe is bitter and shows it by constantly going to the bar that Simon also owns and drinking in spite his young daughter’s constant pleas for him to come home.
When a drunken fight between them accidentally results in Joe’s daughter being injured, a mob arises causing much death and destruction. That Joe’s alcoholism and being instrumental in murder is apparently rewarded with his becoming mayor, I’m not sure I’m on board with this film’s point of view. It certainly makes Virginia politics seem less problematic. From a technical standpoint, there is a scene with a building on fire that is properly horrific seeming, so I guess that's a credit.
Rev. S.S. Jones Home Movies
A documentary, this is a just a sequence of clips of life in black towns in Oklahoma in the 20s. Not the most compelling cinema.