Wade in the Water, Children (Feature Doc)
A documentary by Elizabeth Wood, Gabriel Nussbaum and the film class at the first school to open in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
2010, 88 minutes
"A must see film." • The Boston Globe
“A devastating, first-hand account of life in post-Katrina New Orleans, told from the mouths of babes who are surviving it under outrageous living conditions. Scalding stuff.” • New York Newsday
Through a passionate mixture of private videos, uncensored interviews and school-day adventures, the children of New Orleans notoriously violent Central City neighborhood have created a riveting portrait of childhood at the heart of an ongoing American crisis.
No one set out to make a film: six months after Katrina, two filmmakers moved to New Orleans with a free art program, intended to help students creatively express their thoughts in response to the chaos of the storm. Their documentary-film class at Singleton Charter School at the local YMCA invited students to take video-cameras home and tell their stories on their own terms. The results quickly transcended the classroom. 300 hours of deeply personal video-tape later, Wade in the Water, Children took shape
Through their own remarkably honest and unusual footage, we enter the students shuttered housing projects, fractured families, flooded homes and darkened streets. We discover a New Orleans that was a disaster long before Katrina, a place where role models are scarce and gun violence is normal. The children reveal a New Orleans that adults are afraid to discuss, and that a conventional film crew could never penetrate.Wade in the Water, Children offers a poetic and devastating look at life in the Crescent City through the eyes of its youngest citizens.