2013-2014 MEDIA CATALOGUE:
ETHNIC AND CULTURAL STUDIES

*All on a Mardi Gras Day
Video: DVD, color; 60 minutes
This popularly acclaimed documentary traces the history of New Orleans’ African-American Carnival celebrations from slavery onward and puts them in the context of the culture of the African diaspora. The film includes interviews about and beautifully edited visuals of Mardi Gras Indian rituals, Zulu parades, Baby Doll processions, and Skull and Bones gangs, accompanied by the sounds of Mardi Gras classics by artists like the Wild Magnolias, Dr. John, and Professor Longhair. Copyright 2003.
Producer: WYES-TV and Jerry Brock
Director: Royce Osborn

*Alligator Hunters: A Louisiana Legacy
Video: VHS, color; 60 minutes
Initially televised by Louisiana Public Broadcasting, this video documents the time-honored tradition of alligator hunting by men and women in the marshes of Vermilion Parish. Copyright 1986.
Producer: Islands of the Marsh Productions, Inc.
Director: Gerald Sellers

*American Creole: New Orleans Reunion
Video: DVD, color; 60 minutes
Focusing on Don Vappie, the bandleader of the acclaimed Creole Jazz Serenaders, this film chronicles Vappie’s efforts to gather his extended family, who are musically and geographically far-flung, in New Orleans for a family reunion. More broadly, the film explores what it means to be a New Orleans musician post-Katrina, as it follows musicians attempting to remake their lives in other places. The film’s subjects confront New Orleans’s racial and cultural past and their difficult present, as they struggle with how they will return to the Crescent City or if they will return at all. Copyright 2006.
Producer: Glen Pitre and Michelle Benoit/LPB
Director: Glen Pitre

*Anything I Can Catch: The Handfishing Story
Video: VHS, color; 30 minutes
The historical, cultural, and ecological significance of the regional tradition of handfishing is explored. Never before studied in-depth, handfishing has a place in the cultural history of southwest Louisiana. Copyright 1990.
Producer: Cajun French Music Association, Inc.
Director: Patrick Mire

*By Invitation Only
Video: DVD, color; 60 minutes
By Invitation Only traces the history of New Orleans’ old-line Carnival krewes and explores their relationship to racial politics in Louisiana. Director Rebecca Snedeker follows her own family and friends into the inner circle of debutantes and dukes in Mardi Gras organizations like Rex and Comus. She attempts to balance her own love for her family and their traditions with her concerns about their prejudices. Through Snedeker’s frank portrayal of her experiences, the viewer sees the complexities of these organizations and their relationships to twenty-first century New Orleans. Copyright 2005.
Producer/Director: Rebecca Snedeker

*Cajun Crossroads
Video: VHS, color; 60 minutes
Originally aired on WLAE-TV, New Orleans, this documentary accurately portrays a culture that is popular without being well-understood. The range of Cajun lifestyles is recorded from bayou to prairie, urban center to oil rig, white-collar offices to waterways of farmers and fishermen. Prior studies of Cajuns considered the impact of the oil boom, but this documentary goes further by considering how both the rise and fall of the oil industry have changed south Louisiana culture. Copyright 1987.
Producer: WLAE-TV, New Orleans/Peggy Scott Laborde
Director: Karen Snyder

*The Creole Controversy
Video: VHS, color; 30 minutes
This documentary film explores the history and misconceptions surrounding the Creole identity and use of the term. Interviews with three scholars who claim Creole ancestry are featured. Copyright 1989.
Producer: WYES-TV, New Orleans/Peggy Scott Laborde
Director: Karen Snyder

*The Creoles of Cane River
Video: DVD, color; 57 minutes
Narrating the history of the Creoles of Louisiana from the eighteenth century to the present, this film helps define what it means to be Creole and discusses the significance of a multiracial identity to Creole communities. Through interviews with Creoles from around the country, the filmmakers show Creoles preserving their heritage even as they leave Louisiana. In the present day, the film discusses the impact of national recognition of Creole heritage and history on Louisiana Creoles and their culture. Copyright: 2005
Producer: Bill Rodman/LPB
Director: Bill Rodman

*Dance for a Chicken: The Prairie Cajun Mardi Gras
Video: VHS, color; 60 minutes
Rural Cajun Mardi Gras traditions are ancient in origin and highly symbolic in social and religious terms. The film follows a “gumbo run” where masked participants rampage through the countryside on horseback in pursuit of ingredients for a communal Fat Tuesday feast. The director, a native of the tradition, provides accurate historical background and an accurate cultural interpretation. Copyright 1993.
Producer: Liberty Cultural Association
Director: Patrick Mire

*Dancing the Shrimp
Video: VHS, color; 60 minutes
Louisiana, a state widely known for its French-African-Creole culture, was also a magnet for Filipino immigrants. The first settlers from the Phillippines were maritime deserters who jumped from Spanish galleons plying the Gulf of Mexico. Many took up shrimping, eventually establishing Manila Village, a community on the shores of Barataria Bay. The experiences of recent arrivals are also included. Copyright 1992.
Producer: Magic Lantern Films
Director: James and Isabel Kenny

*Franco-Americans of Louisiana: A Cultural Kaleidoscope
Video: VHS, color; 55 minutes
In the first half of this video, Allegra Roach and Mike Comeaux ask seven people from a cross-section of Louisiana to comment on what it means to be Creole or Cajun, and why efforts are being made to preserve the French language in Louisiana. Following is a panel discussion moderated by Charles Zewe. In light of the preceding interviews, four eminent folklorists discuss their definitions for Creole and Cajun. Copyright 1980.
Producer: Louisiana State Department of Education
Directors: Allegra Roach, Mike Comeaux

*From the Wake of the Bow
Video: VHS, color; 58 minutes
This documentary profiles a Louisiana tradition, the art of boat building. Rapidly disappearing, boat building is traditionally handed down from generation to generation. This film is an attempt to preserve an important legacy for future generations. Copyright 1991.
Producer: WLAE-TV, New Orleans
Director: Barbara Sillery

*German New Orleans
Video: DVD, color; 60 minutes
Arriving almost as soon as New Orleans was founded, German immigrants poured into the city throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, until approximately a quarter of the population was of German ancestry. This film, part of WYES’s successful series on cultural and ethnic groups in New Orleans, traces the history of local German immigration and explores German cultural and economic contributions to the city. Copyright 2004.
Producer: Terri Landry/WYES

*Good for What Ails You: Healing Secrets of the Cajuns, Creoles, and Bayou Indians
Video: VHS, color; 60 minutes
This video explores the combination of faith healing, herbal remedies, and ritual magic in French Louisiana’s strong but rapidly disappearing folk-medicine tradition. Three practitioners, one Creole, one Houma Indian, and one Cajun, are featured in the film. These three subjects are the basis of an investigation into the differences between ethnic healing traditions in southern Louisiana, and their roles in medical anthropology, history, folklore, medical history, and the process of cultural diffusion. Copyright 1998.
Producers: Glen Pitre, Nichole Falgoust, Michelle Benoit
Director: Glen Pitre

*The Haunting of Louisiana
Video: VHS, color; 60 minutes
This award-winning documentary examines various legendary specters throughout the state and contemplates how the tales are propagated, why, and by whom. Copyright 1999.
Producer: Barbara Sillery
Director: Oak Lea

*Hidden Nation
Video: VHS, color; 60 minutes
Obscured by time and assimilation, the Native American people of the United Houma Nation cling to survival amid the bayous and swamps that filter into the Gulf of Mexico in south Louisiana. The epic story of the Houmas and their struggle to gain federal recognition unfolds in this one-hour film. Copyright 1994.
Producer: Keepsake Productions
Directors: Barbara Sillery, Oak Lea

*Huit Piastres Et Demie ($8.50 A Barrel)
Video: VHS, color; 60 minutes
As an episode from the history of Louisiana’s Cajuns is recounted, the viewer gains a rich understanding of Cajun life. The Shrimp War of 1938, a series of strikes during which shrimpers sought higher selling prices, involved most of the Gulf and Atlantic coast fleets. The fishermen of Golden Meadow, a Louisiana village, waged one such strike. Their efforts have become a subject for storytelling, an oral tradition by which Cajun culture has been kept alive for several centuries. Entirely in Cajun French with English subtitles, the reenactment of the strike is performed by the residents of Golden Meadow, many of whom remember the event itself. The video immerses the viewer in Cajun attitudes, making an implicit plea for the preservation of Cajun culture. Copyright 1988.
Producer: Cote Blanche Productions
Director: Glen Pitre

*Irish New Orleans
Video: VHS, color; 30 minutes
This video explores and chronicles the history of the Irish in New Orleans from the late 1700s to the present. The video features the reminiscence of locals about growing up Irish in the city, visits to several local Catholic churches, and examinations of some of the active local groups which continue to celebrate Irish culture in the Crescent City. Copyright 1999.
Producer/Director: Terri Landry

*Island of Saints and Souls
Video: VHS, color; 30 Minutes
A documentary about the development of ethnic Catholicism in New Orleans. Holiday traditions, such as the maintenance of family tombs on All Saints Day, altars and bread-baking on St. Joseph's Day, and cabbage-throwing during the Irish Channel parade on St. Patrick's Day are explored. The story behind the creation of St. Expedite is also explained. Copyright 1991.
Producer: New Orleans Video Access Center
Director: Neil Alexander

*Italian New Orleans
Video: VHS, color; 60 minutes
This documentary explores the contributions of Italian Americans to New Orleans, beginning in the 18th century, through the mass immigration from Sicily in the late 1800’s, and on into the present. Filled with rare historic footage and photographs, this program documents the history of those who came to New Orleans as laborers, cobblers, and fruit vendors and their influence on commerce, politics, religion, music and sports. Copyright 2001.
Producer: Terry Landry, WYES-TV
Director: Dave Landry

*Jewish New Orleans
Video: DVD, color; 60 minutes
An addition to the successful series on the cultural and ethnic groups of New Orleans, the film traces the history of the city’s Jewish community from the arrival of Isaac Monsanto, the first known Jew to arrive in New Orleans, who came from the Caribbean in 1757. Exploring Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism in New Orleans, this documentary also discusses Jews’ crucial roles in the political, commercial, and artistic life of the city up to the present day, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Producer: Terri Landry/WYES-TV

*Lafourche: The Fork in the Mississippi
Video: VHS, color; 20 minutes
A traditional voice-over narration documentary of life as it has developed along one of Louisiana’s major bayous. This video traces the French roots of the area and captures much of the color of bayou life, including sleepy Southern mansions, attractive Cajun cottages, festive fais do-dos (Cajun festivals including dances), boat building, the blessing of the fleets, and a decoy duck carver. The development of the off-shore oil industry is linked to the sudden changes in a way of life that had remained basically unchanged for two centuries. A work of social/cultural interest for a broad audience. Copyright 1978.
Producer: Nicholls State University
Director: Ron Simoral

*Living on the Edge
Video: VHS, color; 60 minutes
Originally aired on public television, this hour-long documentary examines the precarious existence of shrimpers, oyster farmers, and finfishers that maintain traditional elements of the south Louisiana fishing culture. Viewers will be introduced to six families who have been a part of the commercial fishing industry in Louisiana for more than 100 years and learn of the economic, governmental, and ecological challenges that increasingly threaten their livelihood. Copyright 1999.
Producers: Karen Snyder, Sarah Ann Harris
Director: Karen Snyder

*No One Ever Went Hungry
Video: DVD, color; 54 minutes
Film explores the meaning and cultural influence of Acadian culinary traditions, the nuances determined by local availability, ethnic influences and social traditions leading to a deeper understanding of the Acadian mind and lifestyle. Based on the book Stir the Pot: The History of Cajun Cuisine by Marcelle Bienvenu, and Carl and Ryan Brasseaux, these native grown scholars geographically differentiate the subtleties of Cajun food culture from the smoked meat Cajuns of the plains to the seafood Cajuns of the coastal areas.Copyright 2010.
Producer/Director: Southern Food & Beverage Museum, Kevin McCaffrey

*Pushcarts and Plantations: Jewish Life in Louisiana
Video: VHS, color: 60 minutes
Through the use of interviews, oral histories, and archival material, this documentary explores the Jewish communities that have developed throughout Louisiana. The history and diversity of each community springs to life through the careful portrayal of both the lives of the early settlers and contemporary Jewish Louisianians. Copyright 1998.
Producer/Director: Brian Cohen

*The Road To Las Vegas: A Black Perspective
Video: VHS, color; 30 minutes
America’s expansive space has always encouraged the migration of men and women seeking a better way of life, as immortalized by Horace Greeley’s urge to go west. This video follows the movement of black families from Tallulah, Louisiana, and Fordyce, Arkansas, to Las Vegas, Nevada, as they search for greater economic security and personal liberty. Using oral histories, still photographs, and archival materials to depict the families’ struggles, the work pays homage to American opportunity, but also reminds us that the forces of poverty and racism help shape the lay of the land. Copyright 1984.
Producer: KLVX-TV, Las Vegas

*Shalom Y’all
Video: VHS, color; 90 minutes
This documentary follows a young Jewish filmmaker on a two-week trek through the American South in a quest to experience a spiritual and cultural awakening. He follows the route of his grandfather, a former traveling hat and tie salesman, examining Jewish culture in the South in a humorous and engaging way. Copyright 2003.
Producer: Susan Levitas
Director: Brian Bain

*Something Nobody Else Has: The Story of Turtle Trapping in Louisiana
Video: VHS, color; 28 minutes
The trapping of turtles has proven one of Louisiana’s most lucrative natural industries and the kernel of an entire subculture. This enterprise and some of the economic, anthropological and historical ramifications are rendered through footage of trappers in action, still photographs, and interviews with trappers, chefs, and scholars. These speakers suggest that the gradual erosion of the trapping industry has significantly impoverished Louisiana’s culture. Important questions are raised about the impact the exploitation of turtles has had not only on nature but on society itself. Copyright 1984.
Producer/Director: Lee Aber

*Stories From The Faubourg Treme
Video: DVD, color; 60 minutes
Bordering the French Quarter of New Orleans is America’s oldest black urban community. This documentary will blend a wealth of social and cultural history, cultural anthropology, religion, music, poetry, theatre, and folklore, to paint a portrait of this neighborhood that was home to one of the nation’s largest and most influential communities of free people of color in antebellum America.
Producer/Director: Dawn Logsdon

*Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana
Video: VHS, color; 30 minutes
Recognizing storytelling as a unique and expressive art form, this documentary shows that oral traditions are both the personal creations of the storyteller and broad statements about the culture from which they originate. Storytellers featured in this film represent Louisiana’s diverse ethnic groups and tell stories in different narrative genres. Copyright 1998
Producers: Pat Mire, Maida Owens
Director: Pat Mire

*View from the Stoop
Video: VHS, color; 28 minutes
An affectionate look at the disappearing art of stoop-sitting and catching the breeze. Stoop-sitting is as old as the stoops themselves and gives the participants a front-row seat for neighborhood interaction. Struggling to make a comeback, the stoop culture exists as an outdoor living room that provides the socializers a place to share memories, gossip, and visits with friends. Copyright 1982.
Producer: New Orleans Video Access Center
Director: Karen Snyder

A Village Called Versailles (NEW!)
Video: DVD, color; 68 minutes
Documentary film follows the struggles and tribulations of the Vietnamese community in New Orleans East following Hurricane Katrina. Originally settled by Vietnamese boat people, Versailles residents impressively rise to the challenges by returning and rebuilding before any other flooded neighborhood in New Orleans, only to have their homes threatened by a new government-imposed toxic landfill just two miles away.
Producer: Bay Area Video Coalition
Director: Leo Chiang

*Yeah, You Rite!
Video: VHS, color; 28 minutes
Underscoring the uniqueness of the spoken word in New Orleans, this video takes its viewers on a linguistic tour of the dialects found in various districts of the city. The program offers insights into language as a force for social cohesion while also addressing its role in the stratification of society. Highlighted are the historical circumstances that shaped New Orleans speech, and the cultural ramifications of the city’s linguistic differences. Copyright 1985.
Producer: Center for New American Media
Co-directors: Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker

*Yes Ma’am: Household Domestic Workers in New Orleans
Video: VHS, color; 46 minutes
An in-depth look at the profession of domestic service, where workers often consider themselves a part of the family. Injustices are examined, and the importance of religion in the lives of domestic workers is explored. The old order is contrasted with the new, in which the more militant members of the profession have formed the Household Technicians of Louisiana union. Copyright 1979.
Producer: VNV Communications
Director Gary Goldman

*Zydeco: Creole Music and Culture in Rural Louisiana
Video: VHS, color; 60 minutes
This documentary focuses on the unique musical tradition of zydeco to examine the people and culture of southwest Louisiana. The term “creole” as applied here means individuals of diverse ancestry including French, Spanish, Cajun, African-French, African-American, Indian, and German. The video uses local expressive forms to illuminate Creole social identity as it connects with and diverges from other thriving ethnic groups. Copyright 1983.
Producer: Center for Gulf South History
Director: Nicholas Spitzer

 

*Funding provided by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.


 

For more information, contact:

Brian Boyles
Director of Grants
504 620-2632
boyles@leh.org

 



Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities at Turners' Hall
938 Lafayette Street • Suite 300 • New Orleans, LA 70113
Phone 504.523.4352 • Fax 504.529.2358
© Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a statewide nonprofit
and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities

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