Wade in the Water, Children (2007)
1h 15min · Documentary · 23 October 2007
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, filmmakers Elizabeth Wood and Gabriel Nussbaum moved to New Orleans with a free art program, devised to help students creatively express their thoughts in response to the chaos of the storm. Their documentary-filmmaking 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.
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