Jonathan Demme, the director of ‘Silence of the Lambs’ and ‘Rachel Getting Married’, made 21 visits to New Orleans over several years to film sixty-something Carolyn Parker as she tried to reconstruct her life after Hurricane Katrina. Parker’s bungalow in the impoverished Lower Ninth neighbourhood was seriously damaged by the floods but still she returned quickly after the evacuation of her city, basing herself in a government-provided caravan in her yard while she waited – and waited – for her home to be fixed. The resulting rough-and-ready, intimate documentary is a warm and rousing portrait of an opinionated and fearless woman fighting against adversity with humour and strength. It also offers a window on life, past and present, in New Orleans, as Parker recalls her childhood and younger self and, at one point, takes Demme on a tour of areas she used to know, most of them now sadly unrecognisable.
You may also like