Trouble the Water
For pretty much anybody outside of New Orleans, the city is defined solely by these tourist attractions, with everything else surrounding it, and in particular the places where the people of New Orleans actually live, completely invisible. A walk down Bourbon Street, for most tourists, is like taking a nighttime stroll down a wharf bedecked with lights and crowded with revelers; hardly anyone bothers to look off to either side and see the murky waters that swirl around them.
Kimberly Roberts, a 24-year-old New Orleans resident who was trapped in the city during Katrina because of a lack of transportation, had the presence of mind to depict those raging waters as they destroyed her neighborhood and killed friends and family. Her video footage of the storm and its aftermath has been incorporated into a more broad-ranging documentary by director/producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, who remind us that New Orleans isn’t just a brand, or a tourist destination, but a living, breathing city even though, in the wake of Katrina, it is hardly breathing at all.
// Notes from the Road
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