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 documentaries telling stories set in the southern states.
The Great Invisible
The first documentary film based exclusively on the BP/Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010, The Great Invisible premiered earlier this year at SXSW, winning the grand jury prize for feature documentary. The film unwinds the story of the disregard for human and environmental safety that led to the well blowout through interviews with workers who were on the rig, members of the oil industry, and surviving family members of the 11 men who died when the rig exploded. The stories of fishermen and other citizens directly impacted in small communities along the coast round out the big picture view of individual lives drawn into the complex machinery that supplies our planet's thirst for oil. Margaret Brown previously directed the Order of Myths about the curious detente of the traditionally segregated Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, Alabama.
Monday, October 20, 2014, 7:45 p.m. - Prytania Theatre
First time filmmakers Chelsea and Andrew Moynehan spent months in a rural community in southwestern Virginia to create this close look at one corner of the Appalachias. The stories and beliefs of four residents living along Big Moccasin Road provide the center of this documentary that is also rich in scenery and the bluegrass and gospel music that is so identifiable with the region.
Saturday, October 18, 2014, 3:15 p.m. - Theatres at Canal Place
Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:15 p.m. - Theatres at Canal Place
Cast the First Stone
Angola Prison has such an almost mythic reputation even for a southern penitentiary that it's almost easy to overlook the personal stories of the inmates themselves, but Cast the First Stone gives us a unique access point to some of them as they come together to put on an amateur theatrical production of the Gospel story. The film follows the director and cast as they rehearse over a span of two years with the support of warden Burl Cain and finally make their debut to an outside audience.
Monday, October 20, 2014, 8:15 p.m. - Contemporary Arts Center
Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 3:30 p.m. - Prytania Theatre
This documentary focuses on the mystery left in the wake of famed Louisiana governor Huey P. Long's assassination in the State Capitol. The perceived assassin, Dr. Carl Weiss, a respected doctor with seemingly too much to lose in such a suicidal attempt on Long, was instantly shot down by the titular 61 bullets. The film explores the aftermath in both the Long and Weiss families' lives and explores questions that, at the time, were quickly buried along with the men.
Friday, October 17, 2014, 7:45 p.m. - Prytania Theatre
Sunday,October 19, 2014, 3:45 p.m. - Contemporary Arts Center
Buy tickets and see full listing info, including information about filmmakers in attendance at these films, at the New Orleans Film Society website.