Seven years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall.
I know I’m not the only person who wept as the images unfolded that week. Civilization suddenly seemed more tenuous than ever—hospitals going dark, overwhelmed police force going mad, Coast Guard pilots (and self-reliant Cajuns with their own boats) going full-tilt to save people stranded on roofs, trapped in attics…and there were so many to save.
New Orleans wasn’t the only place to sustain shattering, unimaginable losses. That wall of water erased entire ways of life in Southern Louisiana—a story told to stunningly beautiful, mythic effect in Beasts of the Southern Wild, a film that’s more about loss itself than Katrina or the swamplands of the Gulf.
But then, the memory of what happened to Louisiana seven years ago does possess a certain mythic quality, at least to those of us who watched helplessly from afar. We couldn’t fathom the…
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