A group of
people deal with trying to survive, make a living and a home in
their own way in New Orleans a little over a year after the
devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. They are coping the best
they can in this directorial feature motion picture by Joseph
Meissner, called “Flood Streets”.
by Helen Krieger, “Flood Streets” follows the tribulations of
several people on Flood Street, New Orleans as they deal with power
outages, condemned homes, stress, money, devastation, relationships
and making it in a city that has seen better days. Determined to
make things work, the movie focuses on three main characters.
(aka: Ashley) played by Alma Maleckar, a young woman who travels on
her three wheeler pedal bike and who, from the opening scene, is
posting flyers for the Second Line for Social Justice and Solidarity
event, similar to a wake with a parade, brass band, dancing but
without the wake.
writer (played by Joseph Meissner), who is coping with the lack of
normalcy the best he can. His relationship with Liz is becoming
strained with each power-outage and with the lack of the simple
things we all take for granted like mail and newspaper delivery.
Madeline (played by Becky Stark), a pot-smoking, not so good real
estate agent and musician who is assessing the homes in the 9th
ward for developers in Los Angeles who want to convert the
neighborhood to a developed planned community.
characters interact with their environment the best they can all
having come back to their homes and dealing with the loss of so many
that were evacuated with a one-way ticket across America. This is
their home. This is where they have found peace. An eclectic group
of musicians, artists and characters they seek to make ends meet
anyway they can in the backdrop of dilapidated neighborhoods.
climax takes place during Thanksgiving when families come together.
Not everyone wants to come home, not everyone sees eye to eye on
what needs to be done or what to do. But, they give thanks for being
able to live in their homes despite the problems they have and are
Texas native, Joseph Meissner, “Flood Streets” is his
directorial debut feature motion picture. Technically the movie was pretty well made. Shot documentary
style and on location in New Orleans, Louisiana, the director gives
the audience a glimpse inside some of the homes that have been
devastated and down the vacant streets that still remain vacant a
year after tragedy strikes the state.
and Acting in this movie, Mr. Meissner does an outstanding job in
showing some of the stress associated with coming home and living
with limited city services.
could have been a little tighter as there were some scenes that ran
a little too long and really didn’t add anything to the story. One
particular scene could have been cutout all together and didn’t
add anything to the overall value of the movie. (Kids left alone and
trying to set a fire, isn’t that believable especially when they
are on the curb of a street).
local bands and artists moved the movie nicely through transitions
and scenes giving tone and atmosphere to an otherwise depressing
sight that the director portrays in broken homes and desperation.
course, the character Madeline played by musician Becky Stark took
running time in performing a couple of pieces in this movie, and, in
our opinion, didn’t need to be added and could have been cut, as
it ran long and made the scene even more depressing.
story itself was a little confusing to follow. Several stories were
being told at the same time and references to whom they were and
whom they were associated with were not readily apparent until later
in the movie when there was, indeed, a connection between them all.
Perhaps that was the message the writer and director were trying to
convey – we are all in some way interconnected even though we may
not seem to be. Of specific unimportance and something that was
totally useless in this movie that could have been reworked was the
reference to the constant use of marijuana. Not that we are opposed
to it, but the particular importance the writer and director placed
on its inclusion. We were not really sure whether there was
relevance in its application in this movie or whether it was just a
statement that the writer utilized as a personal belief. It really
didn’t do anything to enhance the movie, aside from imputing a
rebellious nature that the audience may pick up.
have to say that “Flood Streets” was an interesting movie to
watch. It actually showed a different side of New Orleans that one
doesn’t always see in this type of movie and that is the average
“white” side to the city. We say this as, even in the movie
itself, the reference to Second Line for Social Justice and
Solidarity event is described as an African-American tradition with
a jazz band, dancing and similar to a wake except without the wake.
Yet, at the actual event there is scarcely an African-American in
sight. Which, in itself, could have been the point of the movie -
that there was a deliberate and conscience effort to displace people
from the city and move them with a one-way ticket out by evacuation
using the hurricane as a pretext for this displacement. I don’t
know. But, this was a good movie to see. Judge for yourself, pick up
the movie and watch it. Support independent movie making and donate
your funds to helping to make a movie. Be a producer.
rating: C47Houston gives this movie a 4.3 out of 5 on the TSIRS
News & Entertainment Magazine was able to grab video of both
Director Joseph Miessner and Helen Krieger at the 2011 44th
Annual Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival where they
talked about their movie “Flood Streets”. You can see that video
on our YouTube channel at: http://youtu.be/m8HFWw_A3rI
Companies: Flood Streets LLC, The Hatchery Media
April 11, 2011. 44th Annual Worldfest-Houston, Houston
by: Joseph Meissner
Helen Krieger and based on her short stories
by: Helen Krieger
Joseph Meissner, Michelle Benoit, Glen Pitre
Mixer: Josh Johnston
Photography Miceal og O’Donnell
by: Becky Stark, The Panorama Jazz Band, Zydepunks, Debauche, Loren
Murrell, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Becky Stark, Melissa Hall, Rachel Dupard, Asia Rainey, Aja Shattuck
Becker, Ava Santana, Adella Gautier, Alma Maleckar, Ursaline Bryant,
Elizabeth Dunnebacke, Ryan Reinike, David Jacobs, Sharon London,
Debbie Morvant, Nick Thompson, Brent Henry, Marygoround, Clint
Maedgen, Lance Nichols, Jacques Duffourc, a special appearance from