Annie Waldman's compact, moving portrait of high schoolers living on their own in the wake of Hurricane Katrina isn't your standard social-issue documentary. Utilizing a lyrical, expressive mise-en-scène, with otherworldly music from Louisville band Rachel's, Waldman effectively conveys the experience of these kids' dislocation, even as their lives still seem full of possibility. This is a sad film, but it is never a pitying or manipulative one. So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away was one of four films debuted and honored last night by Cinereach, a new organization devoted to fostering socially relevant films. Waldman made it with the support of the organization's Reach Film Fellowship, which puts the new filmmakers together with established mentors — in this case, Jesus Camp co-director Rachel Grady. Waldman herself wrote about the experience of making the film for the Huffington Post earlier this week. —Bilge Ebiri
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