TIFF 2011: Five Most Promising Documentaries #2 – Watch Clips From ‘I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful2

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Usually the best documentaries are great because of the people they follow. Other times it is simply all about the filmmaker choosing to follow a subject at just the right time before a drastic change of events occurs. The documentary, I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad and the Beautiful seems like it belongs in the former. Director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Rachel Getting Married), isn’t a man desperately seeking a topic for his next film, so clearly Parker must have done something right to spark the attention of the Academy Award nominee. The film depicts the inspiring personal journey of ex-civil rights activist Carolyn Parker, as she returns to her community’s flood devastation after hurricane Katrina and struggles to rebuild her New Orleans home. I’ve got a hunch this might be one of the biggest crowd pleasures at TIFF this year. Watch some clips below. Enjoy!

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Synopsis courtesy of the film’s website

Carolyn Parker was the last to leave her neighborhood when a mandatory evacuation order was decreed as Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans in the summer of 2005. After the floodwaters subsided, Mrs. Parker was the first resident to return to her now flood-devastated community with what many thought was the “impossible dream” of bringing her ruined home back to life.

I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful unfolds as an inspiring portrait of an extraordinary woman. Mrs. Parker takes us deep inside her personal biography as a child born in the 40’s, raised in segregated New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, who became a teen-ager joining the front lines in the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s, who worked for thirty years as a cook-turned-chef in the hotel industry, and became one of the most outspoken voices in the fight for every New Orleanian’s right to return home after the devastation of the floods that followed Katrina. That Carolyn faced these odds with unbridled wit, spirituality and an abiding sense of social justice borne of her life in New Orleans makes for a unique cinematic tale of personal triumph.

I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful is the portrait of an “ordinary family” who banded together under extraordinary circumstances, and reclaimed their home.

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