7 Cinema - Renaissance Village
NTI Upstream

Renaissance Village is the untold story of the largest FEMA trailer park set up after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast.


10/27/08 - 10/27/08

6p


Renaissance Village is the untold story of the largest FEMA trailer park set up after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast. In the wake of the storms, with more than 120,000 families left homeless, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) built emergency group trailer sites throughout the Gulf Coast.

Their largest site, Renaissance Village, lay in shadows of the rural city of Baker, Louisiana, 91 miles north of New Orleans. Eighteen months after the storms, with federal assistance set to expire, 1700 of the original 3000 evacuees still lived in Renaissance Village with nowhere to go.

After one resident died and many others began to get sick, allegations of formaldehyde poisoning in the FEMA travel trailers spread through the park like wildfire and drew national attention. With mounting pressure from Congress and the media, FEMA began closing its parks, including Renaissance Village, though many of the residents had nowhere else to go.

Poetic and un-romanticized, this film follows the personal struggle of five characters to reclaim their lives after nearly three years in the park.

Produced by a small crew from Chicago, IL, Renaissance Village takes a gritty and uncompromising look at the delicate relationship between government and citizen in the wake of disaster.

Acclaimed New Orleans native Wendell Pierce narrates the documentary with an original score from low country blues musicians throughout the Gulf Coast.

Author
NTI Upstream

Tags: Film, American, 2008