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Documentary - "City of a Million Dreams"

Event Type: JP Library Event
Age Group(s): Adults
Date: 8/7/2023
Start Time: 7:00 PM
End Time: 8:30 PM
 The new documentary, “City of a Million Dreams,” will be presented at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 7, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

This presentation is free of charge and open to the public.

Filmed over 22 years, City of a Million Dreams explores race relations through the lens of jazz funerals. The film Berry’s 2018 book of the same title by Jason Berry.

In 2005, writer and videographer Deb Cotton leaves “hard-hearted Hollywood” for New Orleans, and becomes a chronicler of the parading club culture spawned by the legacy of funerals with music. This tradition is carried by the clarinetist Michael White, renowned for playing “the widow’s wail” in sorrowful dirges. When Hurricane Katrina hits, White loses everything in the catastrophic flooding. In his struggle to rebuild, White becomes an everyman, embodying the resurrection spirit of jazz funerals.

Cotton and White take viewers on a journey into the city’s past, searching for answers in the face of tragedies both present and past.

As Deb follows the parading culture through the aching recovery, Michael explores his ancestral roots in the dawn of jazz. The danced-memory of enslaved Africans charges a reimagining of antebellum Congo Square, juxtaposed with the grandeur of European marching bands. With burial pageants as a mirror on the city’s history, the film hits a violent turning point at a parade shooting, plunging Deb and Michael into a search for the city’s soul.

For more information regarding this event, contact Chris Smith, Manager of Adult Programming for the library, at 504-889-8143 or wcsmith@jefferson.lib.la.us.

Library: East Bank Regional Library    Map
Location: Jefferson & Napoleon Rooms
Contact: Chris Smith
Contact Number: 504-889-8143
Presenter: Chris Smith