Post-Katrina, Still Waiting



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ART REMILLARD

I recently received word of a PBS documentary, Still Waiting: Life After Katrina. There’s a low resolution version of the film on the website. Here’s a description…

Still Waiting: Life After Katrina documents the remarkable story of resilience, family, and attachment to place. The role of race, women, family, food, and faith are integral to the content and provide powerful teaching opportunities.

Still Waiting takes place in the post-Katrina world of three African American women who grew up in the New Orleans area. The stories of Connie, Katie, and Janie are set against a backdrop of the larger extended family they share. In the film, we see how our primary women who have long held up the center of their respective families react differently to the circumstances that Katrina has thrust upon them.

The unusual size and interconnectedness of the 155-member family portrayed in this film point to a cultural truth that, while unfamiliar in most of the US, resonates strongly in the New Orleans area. The group’s well-knotted bonds of love and reciprocity function like an emotional ecosystem, capable, it seems, of absorbing the profound betrayal of nature and the system. But as the story of their evacuation to Dallas gives way to the story of their return to the bayou and the unexpected difficulties they face, the hopes of reclaiming life as it once existed look increasingly remote.

Still Waiting is a collaborative project of two-time Emmy winning filmmaker Ginny Martin, and
Kate Browne, Afro-Creole specialist and professor of anthropology at Colorado State University. The documentary was filmed between October 2005 and March 2007 and was funded by National Science Foundation, Colorado State University, and Women in Film. Still Waiting was broadcast on nearly 300 PBS stations in August, September and October 2007. The film's website includes a low resolution streaming video of the film, a link showing reactions to the documentary, PBS air dates and times, and links for ordering a DVD for personal or institutional use. Please visit www.stillwaiting.colostate.edu

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