The New Orleans Film Festival begins October 17th, and all this week we're highlighting a few films by genre out of the multitude of offerings. Today, a handful of films focused on social justice issues. None of these issues are unique to the South, but each film comes from a regional background.
Evolution of a Criminal
Darius Clark Monroe's documentary film is an autobiography of sorts. The young filmmaker examines a central moment in his past--a bank robbery he committed and was convicted of when he was sixteen years old in Texas--and attempts to qualify the circumstances that led him to participate in it. His self-inquiry is woven through interviews and re-enactments, taking in all the societal factors that create a criminal and what one can do after being given that distinction. Produced by Spike Lee.
Saturday, October 18, 2014, 1:15 p.m. - Theatres at Canal Place
Saturday, October 18, 2014, 4:15 p.m. (Free Screening) -Marsalis Center, 1901 Bartholomew St
Gideon's Army is a stripped-down documentary that captures the early careers of three young public defenders in the Deep South. Filmmaker Dawn Porter portrays the reality of dealing with an overwhelming caseload, providing a street-level look at the energy and focus of these often overlooked defense lawyers who offer the only guidance through the legals system that some people have. This film was nominated for a 2014 News & Documentary Emmy. A panel with Dawn Porter and New Orleans Chief Public Defender Derwyn Bunton will follow the screening.
Saturday, October 18, 2014, 1:15 p.m. (Free Screening) - Contemporary Arts Center
Oil & Water
Oil & Water presents a look at the history of oil production and the price many coastal parishes have had to pay in order to reap the benefits of supporting the oil industry alongside the evolution of more traditional trades like fishing. The film tells the story of one couple as they watch their business dry up in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill and using their situation to shed light on a long, usually imbalanced relationship between the local Cajuns and the oil corporations.
Sunday, October 19, 2014, 8:45 p.m. - Joy Theater
This film brings the realities of domestic violence to light through the voices of two women. Deanna Walters, a young woman from Ashe County, NC, who was kidnapped by her estranged husband and beaten over the course of several days on a cross-country nightmare. When she went to local prosecutors, she was told her injuries only amounted to a misdemeanor. Fellow survivor and advocate Kit Gruelle helps Walters along on her search for justice. Throughout the film, traditional responses (or non-responses) to women in crisis are explored and explained, leading to a long look at a problem too often unnoticed.
Friday, October 17, 2014, 6:00 p.m. - Theatres at Canal Place
Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 12:00 p.m. - Theatres at Canal Place
Buy tickets and see full listing info, including information about filmmakers in attendance at these films, at the New Orleans Film Society website.