The Church on Dauphine Street

Lest we forget, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans three years ago. Local documentary filmmakers Anne Hedreen and Rustin Thompson were among the crews who soon arrived with cameras to chronicle the wreckage and rebuilding. The Church on Dauphine Street follows some comfortable, white, golf-playing volunteers from Mercer Island Presbyterian Church (among other area groups) who concentrate their efforts on the considerably poorer and more diverse Catholic congregation of Blessed Seelos, led by a charismatic Irish-born priest. Local Louisiana union workers—who probably all voted for Bush—also lend their skilled labor, making the movie possibly more of a melting-pot than that divided city. (Or ours, for that matter.) This collective spirit, with the filmmakers clearly of like mind, gives the whole enterprise a communitarian, barn-raising feel. Most of Dauphine Street is filmed in the Upper Ninth Ward, but Hedreen and Thompson also follow some of the union guys out to their whiter, more middle-class homes. Those, too, had been damaged or destroyed. Katrina was, it seems, an equal-opportunity offender. Note: The movie plays Friday through Thursday, with the filmmakers in attendance for the first three days of its run. (NR) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 523-3935, www.grandillusioncinema.org. $6–$8. 7 & 9 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Fri., Aug. 22, 7 & 9 p.m., 2008

 
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