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Desert Bayou| 1hr : 31mins
Director: Alex Lemay | Producer: NA
Focus Years: 2007 | Country: United States
Subject Tags: americas, governance, identity, inter-cultural relations, oppression, race, united states
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
DESERT BAYOU depicts the experiences of two families who were airlifted out of the mayhem of a devastated New Orleans and into one of the whitest states in the Union. First this group of evacuees found themselves flooded out of the only homes they knew, literally sequestered on planes, flown into a desert, moved onto an isolated military base 45 minutes outside of Salt Lake City, subjected to three criminal background checks and forced to maneuver in a chess game ruled by members of a predominantly white, racially ignorant and nearly exclusively Mormon enclave. “DESERT BAYOU gives voice to those victims who suffered the aftermath of a tragedy that evolved on a daily basis,” says LeMay (THE BULLS OF SUBURBIA). “In the midst of this process, there are chronicles of plenty of good deeds, good people and community; religious and social figures whose good will eventually prevails." Faced with a continued bureaucratic indifference following the disaster, the personal stories emerging from the evacuees add a very human element to a story that was unfathomable by most of the nation. Now, still nearly incomprehensible by those who hear their stories, review news clips of both the Utah Governor, Mayor of Salt Lake City and, comically, a few of the less enlightened citizens of Salt Lake City. The victims’ conflicts and personal growth are portrayed covering all from fear and isolation to discovery and solution.
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Nick Santillan

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