Someone, you finally realize, has suffered your exact misfortune before you.
This one the steady vanishing of your birthplace before your eyes.
Martha Serpas, “A Corollary” The Dirty Side of the Storm
“Martha Serpas is one of the two or three best poets of her generation…” Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the Humanities, Yale University
The words and image of Louisiana poet Martha Serpas guide the viewer as we journey through the remnants of Louisiana’s bayou regions, flying over the wetlands, examining historic aerial photographs, new satellite imagery, and traveling at water level while shrimping for dwindling seafood. Levee board politicians, water specialists, engineers, and musicians all offer their advice and memories of home after this century’s devastating storms and oil spills.
Levee Director Windell Curole testifies before Congress to get money to build safer levees, warns his Parish residents that their land is sinking, fights with politicians to agree on a solution, flies over his French-speaking Cajun home in Leeville, and plays guitar in the “Hurricane Levee Band.”
Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program Director Kerry St. Pe’ has led the conservation effort in southern Louisiana for decades. Kerry works hard to bring oystermen, the oil industry and government together to try and build a consensus for how the environment, homes and jobs can all be saved.
Water quality specialist Andrew Barron works right next to Kerry, visiting marshes and examining plant life during the day, and gets kidney dialysis during the night, letting a machine cleanse his blood, just as the wetlands cleanse our drinking water.
Cajun Bluesman Tab Benoit born and raised in Houma sings all over the country, but fights hard for the wetlands, organizing festivals, appearing in films, raising awareness for every audience he sings for.
Plaquemines Parish Coastal Zone Management director P.J. Hahn played an active role after the B.P. oil disaster, monitoring oil in the estuaries and dying wildlife. He fights against land loss by arguing for sediment transfer through pipelines–a faster solution to stopping land loss.
Radio talk show host Kirk Cheramie interviews local politicians, business owners, poets, writers, and visiting filmmakers. His disgust with the system resonates with the callers and leads him back to his Native American roots.
PRODUCTION TEAM: Director/Producers, Elizabeth Coffman, Ted Hardin
Long Distance Productions www.longdistanceproductions.com PRODUCTION DATES: March 2003 to December 2011