Recently, my wife and I traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi to visit her sister. The coast has been recovering well from Katrina. With all the emphasis recently on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I thought I’d revisit a post from March of 2009. This covers DVDs and books concerning Hurricane Katrina from the perspective of the Mississippi Gulf Coast rather than New Orleans (which seems to be most common). WLOX-TV in Biloxi produced multiple DVDs over the years about Katrina and the subsequent recovery. I was hoping they would produce one for the fifth anniversary but have not seen anything.
Originally posted on March 19, 2009
Last week, my wife and I traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi to spend the week with my mother-in-law. We also took the opportunity to travel around the region visiting our old stomping grounds, revisiting some familiar sites and checking out new places. One such new place was Bay Books on main street in downtown Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. A small bookstore with two bookstore cats that love attention it has a nice selection of local authors which interested me. A small display table containing books and DVDs relating to Hurricane Katrina particularly interested me and I ended up purchasing four items from the table which I would like to highlight here.
First is the DVD entitled “Mississippi Son” a multiple award-winning documentary of stories of Hurricane Katrina as told by survivors from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The website for the documentary describes the film thusly:
Shot in high definition on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, featuring never-before-seen storm footage, and scored with an original blues-rock soundtrack composed and performed by Katrina survivors, Mississippi Son (95 min.) tells the heartwrenching and heartwarming story of the people, the culture, and the future in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Born and raised in Gulfport, Mississippi, Emmy award winning L.A. filmmaker Don Wilson was deeply moved by the losses of his friends and family. In this film, he returns home to talk to those who lived through the hurricane and continue to deal with the aftermath of the storm.
While the media has been focused on New Orleans, Mississippi Son reminds us that the Mississippi Gulf Coast was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
The second DVD is entitled “One-Eyed Girl” and it is also a documentary concerning Hurricane Katrina from the viewpoints of survivors from Hancock County, Mississippi specifically in the Bay St. Louis/Waveland area which was considered part of “ground zero” when the storm came ashore.
Both DVDs are poignant reminders of what Hurricane Katrina did and how the region is doing what it can to bounce back from the storm’s devastation. I recommend both DVD and each can be purchased via their respective websites.
One of the two books is “West Side Stories: Before, During, and After on Mississippi’s West Coast” which consists of photographs and commentary by Vicki Niolet and Betty Stechmann. It is mostly photographs of the western end of the Mississippi Gulf Coast centering mostly on Bay St. Louis and Waveland. A lot of them are before-and-after photos showing the damage done by Hurricane Katrina. Some have accompanying stories as a historical document. Many of those locations in the photos are places of which my wife and I are familiar. Some are places I photographed as well during our first trip back to the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Katrina (several are posted on the blog entries about the visit).
The other book I got is entitled “Katrina And The Forgotten Gulf Coast” by Betty Plombon and consists of stories from folks along the Mississippi Gulf Coast who survived the storm. There is a heavy frustation factor exhibited in the text originating from the facts that the media concentrated so much on New Orleans for so long, neglected coverage of the major damage and suffering and that the federal government seemed to have forgotten about the survivors of the storm in Mississippi. It also is somewhat bittersweet and in some places sad in the memories shared of what was lost forever due to the storm. But it also is uplifting and encouraging for it shows the determination to succeed and a never-give-up attitude of the residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the post-Katrina era.
Both of these books I heartily recommend.