September 19, 2008
On September 18, students of Assistant Professor of Critical Media and Cultural Studies Denise Cummings’ “Media Peace and Justice” class helped spread the word of the Global Peace Film Festival by inviting a television production class from Jones High School in Orlando to join them at the screening of the film, The New Orleans Tea Party. For Rollins students and the Jones High School students The New Orleans Tea Party was both eye-opening and motivating.
The New Orleans Tea Party offers an inside view at the reconstruction of post-Katrina Louisiana. Throughout the film, viewers are shown the many levels of destruction that were caused by the storm and the lack of initiative on the part of all levels of government as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to restructure the city. Shots of entire neighborhoods under demolition along with interviews with the “storm generation” and the many volunteers who are helping locals reconstruct their lives show viewers the side of the storm that was never the subject of the national news. The film gives new light to the work that is being done by these locals and volunteers to literally rebuild the city both physically and spiritually with almost no assistance from the government.
Following the screening, Rollins students and the Jones High School students had a discussion about the film. Students from both schools shared similar realizations of the empowerment of the people of New Orleans, and sympathy for those victims and volunteers who had been interviewed throughout the film. The students also discussed some of the filming techniques that were used, and many of their own ideas about the reconstruction of New Orleans. Together, Rollins College and Jones High School were able to contribute to the dialogue about peace which is one of the primary goals of the Global Peace Film Festival. Funding for the Jones High School visit was made possible through the Office of Community Engagement.
By Elizabeth Rodgers (Class of 2010)