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Filmmaker Annie Waldman Checks In On Katrina's Teenage Victims

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