In a poverty-stricken area of southeastern Louisiana, 23 men were murdered between 1997 and 2006. Local police departments had great difficulty finding the perpetrator, at least in part because Hurricane Katrina put great demands on them around 2005. This documentary reconstructs the events and reveals some of the least attractive aspects of this mysterious swamp region: the poverty, the racism, the drug problems, the ever-present environmental pollution, a lack of coordination between the various agencies involved, and the reasons behind this monster remaining at large for so long. The filmmakers follow local police officers to the scenes of the crimes and interview them about their findings. We also see members of the victims’ families discussing the death of their loved ones and the attempts to apprehend the murderer. How is it possible that such a major case was not picked up by the national press? It was dismissed as a “regional question,” explains one local journalist. And it also brought up complex issues such as homosexuality and the homeless – “A segment of society we don’t like to talk about anyways,” he concludes matter-of-factly. Additional footage from local news programs as well as confrontational sound recordings of interrogations of the killer make for a film that offers a grim picture of an often hidden side of Western society.
DATE: Thursday, March 20, 2014
LOCATION: McColl Center for Visual Art; 721 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202