As the newest storm (Gustav) beats down once again on New Orleans and parts of Louisiana, the legacy of Katrina is remembered by all as they evacuate to safe ground. When people are exposed to similar threats past fears are easily reawakened. Katrina’s Children is a documentary that looks into another side of the story, the resilient side from the children’s perspective. Completed before this recent storm, it would be interesting to further document resilient characteristics following this second round of traumatic events. What are the protective factors that hold up and what leads to a breakdown of coping skills in lieu of these new stressors?
I remember the aftermath of the Ice Storm in 1998. Even if I was not strongly affected only a few hours) I was exposed to traumatic images for weeks on end when I listened to the news. I remember, in the years that followed, cringing everytime the weather hovered around the freezing mark and rain was in the forecast. Research identifies that the more vulnerable in our society are those who feel the impact more strongly; for one they have fewer alternatives to remain safe in times of crisis.
The introduction to the film reads:
KATRINA’S CHILDREN is a feature-length documentary about nineteen children from different neighborhoods of New Orleans. Told entirely from the children’s point of view,the film explores the impact of Hurricane Katrina on their lives. We enter their world through their stories, their play and their art and we have animated several of their drawings,magically bringing to life their interior universe.
Aching with sadness, yet grounded in hope, KATRINA’S CHILDREN is ultimately a celebration of children’s extraordinary resilience and a tribute to New Orleans’ unique and indomitable spirit.
Screenings across America commence in September 2008. Unfortunately the only screening in Canada is in Halifax. However the DVD can be purchased through their website. You can view the trailer found here. A number of excerpts are also found on YouTube where you can see children reenacting the consequences of the storm with Barbies and in another a young black child painting a ‘mansion of beauty’ that he explains is rich, magical and much ‘stronger than a house.’ He thus explores his ‘safe place’ while hinting at the discrepancies between wealthy and poor and linking riches to safety!
01 sept 2008