This isn't one of the better episodes of "The American Experience". Part of it is because the film really doesn't give you THAT good a feel for the city. How can a film about New Orleans not mention beignets or creole cuisine? How can the film not take you on a tour of the various neighborhoods? How can it barely mention Mardi Gras and the various krews, floats and the like? It really is NOT about New Orleans much of the time but a commentary about race relations in the South--which is great, but not the stated purpose of the film. Had it been called "Race in New Orleans and the Rest of the South" or the like, it would have accomplished the job. And, I wouldn't mind seeing such a show.
Another issue I had is that sometimes the film was filled with seemingly insane commentary from some of the oddballs they chose to speak in the film. Most commentary was great but occasionally they said things like "If you listen carefully, you can hear the sidewalks speaking to you." What?!? Are you off your meds, mister?! Another odd comment is as the film is ending, one guy basically states that every place should learn about race from New Orleans--after EVERYTHING in the film before this said the exact opposite and how unequal and racist the town has been!!! Overall, the film had some nice moments but I really felt like this was not at all the same city I recently visited but one portion of the city's history. It was uneven and strangely inconsistent.
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