Socialist Worker

Music plays on in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, in documentary One Note At A Time

by Saba Shiraz
Issue No. 2620

Playing on in One Note At A Time

Playing on in One Note At A Time


This is the story of struggling artists in New Orleans and their resilience. The film explores how a passion for live music drove musicians and the surrounding community to nurture its history in the city. A medical clinic for musicians is the film’s focal point.

It’s a place which helps poor artists survive.

Now they face the disastrous impact of Hurricane Katrina and the negligence of the US state.

After Katrina the clinic was given a three year grant which is in its last year. People across the city continue to support the clinic with their own donations.

For a lot of artists in the city, music is all they have and after Katrina, the destruction of live music venues had a huge impact.

The documentary shows music venue Snug Harbor to be one of the most lively venues. It continues to platform an array of artists, including those who find music to be an escape from poverty and an outlet for their frustrations.

The film asks if, with people struggling to survive, whether music will survive in the city.

The federal government remains silent at a time when the grant for the musicians clinic is in need of renewal.

Jazz and Blues, self-expression and the preservation of artists and their music are the blood that pumps through the veins of New Orleans.

One Note at a Time shows that keeping the city and its artists alive is not automatic, it takes a collective effort.

The clinic, the venues, the artists and their music are neglected by the state.

But they are protected by the people for who making and listening to music is a matter of survival.


One Note At A Time. Directed by Renee Edwards. On limited release now

Black Earth Rising tells the story of the fictional trial of one of the instigators of the Rwandan genocide.

At the centre of the action in Hugo Blick’s new thriller is Kate Ashby, played by Michaela Coel.

Ashby is rescued from the Rwandan genocide as a child by international criminal lawyer Eve Ashby.

Also starring is John Goodman of The Big Lebowski.

The series is set to deal with “issues of justice, guilt and self-determination”.

But it remains to be seen whether it will examine the brutal Belgian colonial regime that set the stage for genocide by dividing the country along ethnic lines.

“The past isn’t dead, it isn’t even past,” said Blick. Let’s hope he has the presence of mind to look far enough into the past.

Black Earth Rising. Written and directed by Hugo Blick. On BBC2 at 9pm on 10 September

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Mon 3 Sep 2018, 16:43 BST
Issue No. 2620
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