Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane, Says Filmmaker Paola Mendoza


Next week marks the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s hit on the Gulf Coast. Since then, filmmakers have responded to the disaster in full force, churning out a surprising number of passionate, original films about the storm and its aftermath. (We featured one of them earlier this year.) Indiepix is releasing a four-DVD set of Katrina-themed films, including four features and four shorts. One of the best of these is Paola Mendoza’s Still Standing, a documentary account of the filmmaker’s visit to her Colombian grandmother as she deals with the wreckage of her Mississippi home. The highlight here is not so much the devastation on display (which is substantial) but the touching, easygoing interaction between Mendoza and her grandmother as they rummage through the debris, talk about an uncertain future, and discuss what makes a home a home — “a place where I can fart,” as grandma puts it. It’s a lovely little film, and it makes us eager to see what Mendoza does next. Lucky for us, she is currently at work on her first narrative feature.

Related: Hope Floats [NYM]