HughE Dillon One-Shot: Jonathan Demme

The director discussed his new movie about New Orleans at the Philadelphia Film Festival

Starting a few months after Hurricane Katrina, director Jonathan Demme traveled to New Orleans and began filming a strong matriarch from the Lower Ninth Ward named Carolyn Parker as she struggled to rebuild her home over several years. Appearing last night at the Philadelphia Film Festival at the Ritz East, Demme said of I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, The Mad, and The Beautiful, “I wanted to do something after Katrina to help the city of New Orleans, but I didn’t know how to hammer, so instead I created a documentary to ‘bear witness’ to the reconstruction of the city and the struggles of its citizens. It was the greatest moment of America to see all the volunteers descend on New Orleans giving up their time to help rebuild, but also the ugliest time of America to see the greed of rebuilders, and ineptness of the government.” Side note: 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of what many would call Demme’s greatest film, Silence of the Lambs. It will be shown on Halloween night during the festival.