“I don’t know the distance at all. I feel really uninformed. Like .3 mile or something like that. It’s not quite half a mile, but, you know, it’s almost half a mile.”
Welcome to the Facebook generation’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
What starts out as a first-person, DIY documentary about Jac Currie’s response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina quickly becomes sort of like a documentary about how Jac, like, you know, starts a t-shirt line or something built around the words “Defend New Orleans” and then, you know, does some other things in NYC… and then returns to New Orleans, spends some time visiting with friends and local relief organizations and eventually resolves to help with the ongoing New Orleans revitalization efforts.
This movie has a lot of heart, but would have worked a lot better if it were shorter (cutting out some of the full-length music video segments) and focusing more on Jac’s return visit to his home state of Mississippi. In its current form, the film becomes bogged down in NYC as it traces the rise of Jac’s start-up enterprise, including a whole song’s worth of Jac modeling t-shirts for some ‘zine.
Though they document a lot of the destruction caused by Katrina, you never get a solid sense of Jac’s involvement with the actual hurricane. The film’s director, Courtney Fathom Sell, seems more interested in how Jac gets his t-shirt line up and running than in how Jac deals with the impact of a life-changing event like Katrina.
To his credit, Mr. Sell does succeed in telling Jac’s story… but the film would have been much more compelling if that story would have been the one from Mississippi and not the one from New York.
All proceeds from the sale of the film (and a portion from the sale of the t-shirts) go to support hurricane relief and rebuilding efforts, so if you are interested in that aspect of this endeavor, please visit www.defendneworleans.com.