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I'm Carolyn Parker: The Good, The Mad & The Beautiful (2011)

 NR |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Pbs (Direct)
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,890 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

I'm Carolyn Parker unfolds as an inspiring portrait of an extraordinary woman. Carolyn Parker was the last to leave her neighborhood when Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans in the summer of 2005. After the floodwaters subsided she was the first resident to return to her now flood-devastated community with what many thought was the "impossible dream" of bringing her ruined home back to life. A Jonathan Demme film.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
My fellow Amazon reviewer David Crumm has already written a detailed review of this wonder Jonathan Demme, based on his viewing on PBS (It aired this past summer as part of the P.O.V. documentary series.). So I won't repeat much of what David wrote; I agree with it. Rather, I'll add a few comments of my own and discuss the HOME DVD version of the release.

This has been sort of a "Jonathan Demme Week" for me, having just finished watching (and posting my Amazon review) of his "performance documentary", "Neal Young Journeys" about the rock star. Demme is known for directing three types of films: narrative fiction ("Silence of the Lambs", "Swing Shift"), performance docs (the aforementioned Young film- plus two other Young docs; "Stop Making Sense" (Talking Heads), and biographical docs ("My Cousin Bobby", "The Man from Plains" (Jimmy Carter). Demme excels at all three.

When Demme - with the help of the widow of NOLa pop music icon Ernie-K-Doe - chose the mid-50-year-old Parker to be the person to follow to see how long it would take to rebuild her home after Hurricane Katrina, he didn't realize it would take 5 ˝ years! But every three months he would take his small crew back to the Lower Ninth Ward in NOLa and interview her. The camera work is nearly all Demme's and is wonderful. So is Parker (as just as interesting is her college age daughter, Kyrah).

And the story is more than just post-Katrina. It's the story of the civil rights movement in the 1960s too. (But I'll let you discover that part as you watch the film.)

This 91-minute film is a perfect companion to Spike Lee's "When The Levees Broke".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet One of New Orleans' Most Courageous Families September 14, 2012
(Although the film is only available for pre-order on DVD, this review is based on the PBS airing of the documentary in September 2012.)

The 2005 devastation of Hurricane Katrina is one of the most popular American sagas of tragedy and survival. Evidence of that is the highly praised HBO series TREME about New Orleans families rebuilding their lives after Katrina. In addition to various film and TV glimpses of post-Katrina life, there are books, too. That list includes Dick Wolff's moving The Fight for Home: How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back, which also tells Carolyn Parker's story.

In the documentary and the book, Carolyn Parker lives through a gripping, years-long odyssey to hold her historic home together in one of the poorest sections of the infamous Lower Ninth Ward. Wolff not only wrote the book about Carolyn and other survivors, he also is a producer on this documentary, shot over five years. The film's director is Oscar-winning Jonathan Demme, best known for his feature films such as Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia.

Wolff and Demme are terrific storytellers themselves and they cut away all the stuff you already know about Hurricane Katrina to give us just this vivid slice of real life: Carolyn Parker's life, that is. Even at that scale of one woman and one family, the real-life truth becomes clear: In America's ever-deepening chasm between rich and poor, the poor live like modern-day Jobs, the tragic figure in the Bible who faced one awful scourge after another.
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