NEW ORLEANS: MUSIC IN EXILE REVIEWED
“New Orleans: Music in Exile” is about music and recovery. Mugge spends a year after Hurricane Katrina with NOLA residents and musicians, as they attempt to return to normalcy. They discover their homes destroyed and their careers in the air. This is what I love about Mugge, as he doesn’t try to frame what’s going down. He steps back and lets the musicians play and speak for themselves.
The Gulf Coast is a very special area and it’s hard for a lot of outside factions to understand the Delta Music scene. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I’ve noticed how quickly Katrina has disappeared from the national consciousness. Lives moved on to a point, but nothing has really changed. While the music is stunning and the personalities are big, all we see is a return to the status quo. It’s kinda harrowing.
- Six Bonus Performances
- 1.78:1 1080p transfer
- LPCM 2.0 track
RELEASE DATE: 11/18/16
- Video - 86%86%
- Audio - 87%87%
- Supplemental Material - 86%86%
- Film Score - 86%86%
The Plot Thus Far
Like their neighbors, members of the legendary New Orleans music community were devastated by Hurricane Katrina and its tragic aftermath. With NEW ORLEANS MUSIC IN EXILE, noted music documentarian Robert Mugge (DEEP BLUES, GOSPEL ACCORDING TO AL GREEN, THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO, RHYTHM ‘N’ BAYOUS) creates an emotional portrait of horror, heartbreak, and hope as the musicians who lived through the disaster pick up the pieces and try to rebuild their lives. Many Crescent City artists are shown giving post-Katrina performances, among them Dr. John, Cyril Neville, Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins, Marcia Ball, Theresa Andersson, Eddie Bo, Rebirth Brass Band, The Iguanas, Jon Cleary, Cowboy Mouth, and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, and interviews with these and other musicians make it clear how a Category 5 hurricane, broken levees, floods, looting, black mold, and their consequences wreaked havoc on music and life in America’s most colorful city. Mugge, his fellow producer Diana Zelman, and their dedicated crew filmed these interviews and performances not only in New Orleans, but also in Memphis, Lafayette, Houston, and Austin a mere two months after the storm. It was a time when most citizens of New Orleans were living elsewhere, and when few of the city’s musicians had even tried to reclaim what was left of their damaged homes and music clubs. It was also a time when few stores, hotels, or restaurants were open for business, and when no one knew if the city as a whole could ever again support those who had left it. In addition to the film itself, the MVD Blu-ray of NEW ORLEANS MUSIC IN EXILE will also include a wealth of bonus features, all of them shot on HD video: an 18-minute short about Lafayette public radio executive David Spizale’s personal rescue efforts in New Orleans; Jon Cleary performing “A History of New Orleans Piano”; six additional bonus performances by participating New Orleans musicians; and seven extended versions of songs performed in the film itself.