". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tribeca Film Festival -- Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans

They've been turning 'em away from screenings of this in New Orleans. Everybody we know who's seen it says it's great. (Lolis Eric Elie is one of the New Orleans writers who interviewed Vaquero, who praised The World That Made New Orleans in The Times-Picayune last month, and this one, for the Tennessee Williams Festival.)

Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans

[FAUBO] 2008 68 min

Feature Documentary
Directed by: Dawn Logsdon and Lolis Eric Elie
World Premiere
Interests: African American, Documentary, Social Issues

Cast & Credits:
Director: Dawn Logsdon and Lolis Eric Elie
Principal Cast: Glen David Andrews, Lenwood Sloan, Eric Foner, Brenda Marie Osbey, Irving Trevigne, John Hope Franklin
Executive Producers: Stanley Nelson, Wynton Marsalis
Producer: Lucie Faulknor, Dawn Logsdon, Lolis Eric Elie
Screenwriter: Lolis Eric Elie
Director of Photography: Diego Velasco, Keith L. Smith, Bobby Shepard
Editors: Dawn Logsdon, Sam Green, Aljernon Tunsil
Composer: Derrick Hodge

Program Notes:
Faubourg Tremé is a first-person documentary by New Orleans natives Dawn Logsdon and Lolis Eric Elie. Drawing on several years of pre-Hurricane Katrina footage, the film brings alive the history of Black New Orleans through an in-depth look at one historic neighborhood, the Faubourg Tremé.

Executive produced by Wynton Marsalis and Stanley Nelson, the film follows journalist and first-time filmmaker Lolis Eric Elie, who sets out to renovate his 19th-century house in this now deteriorating neighborhood.

Drawn to the architecture and its mix of old and new, Elie soon finds that the history of this place is the real story. This once vibrant neighborhood, he learns, was in fact the center of African American economic independence and political activism from slavery through Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. In recent years, the Faubourg Tremé, now more often referred to as the Sixth Ward, has suffered from blight, drugs, and crime, and even more recently was devastated by the wrath of Hurricane Katrina-the effects of which we see here in heartbreaking detail. Yet Logsdon and Elie bring an insightful perspective to the retelling of this community's past, particularly through its literary and musical artifacts.

The result is a fresh approach to historical documentary storytelling. The filmmakers interview prominent historians to elucidate the facts, but mostly what we hear and see is the music, dance, poetry, and voices of contemporary residents. We meet people several years before Hurricane Katrina and follow their stories through the storm's aftermath. We come to understand that, just as it has in the past, this deeply rooted community is determined to rebuild and to persevere.

--– Nancy Schafer

Fri, Apr 25, 9:15PM AMC Village VII Theater 6 (Map) Sat, Apr 26, 8:30PM Village East Cinema 6 (Map) Mon, Apr 28, 9:30PM Village East Cinema 1 (Map) Thu, May 01, 3:15PM Village East Cinema 1 (Map) Fri, May 02, 5:30PM AMC 19th St. East Theater 1 (Map)


Renegade Eye said...

That looks really good. I would say even incredibly good.

Foxessa said...

Yes! We're going -- we can't do the Tribeca FF premiere because we're going to the premiere of the Bebo Valdez film that night, but we will go the next day, I think.

Sunday we've got a dinner party - book salon thing up in Jumel Terrace.

Today, a beautiful day -- we've got to give a presentation to the interested NYU faculty -- one of those lunch and then presentation and Q&A after. Argh. It's so hard to stay awake -- for everybody.

But when nice honorariums are involved one does one's very best.

Love, C.