thumbnail of My Louisiana Love
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
hi i'm natasha del toro and welcome to america reframed a showpiece to real stories of a transforming america the guts and glory and the grace tonight's my louisiana love was the filmmaker monique her dance go back and explore her native groups and advises want to southeast louisiana it's here at the home of the present trees survived and they need her again but now as monique discovers they're battling big deadly storm near each of the oil and gas companies in the area i wanna keep living on our land and i'm in here in that dined out on my louisiana love tonight and everything's better
this is in every frame tonight we have a very special film called my wits in love first i'm here with one of the filmmakers shannon as along sharon welcome your real taste of what the film's about my louisiana law does video portrait of money for dan monique returns to her home an indian family in southeast louisiana to find him naomi environmental crisis threatening their culture but these environmental issues are not just the home of indians these are issues that all of us are facing women talk to you and money more about that the first time i was in a well only america restraint the family roots run deep in the wetlands of southeast louisiana
our home where people have been living off of these lands and waters for hundreds of years it is and what's really
really good living it's b no no my name is anita i was born during the spring floods first is sitting in a single wide trailer i loved running their parents
divorced my mother moved his three and a half hours away to pensacola beach florida as they might shout a dreaming of returning to louisiana thirteen years ago after graduating high school my grandmother who cares for my mentally disabled own homemade
or i'll always loved being with my grandmother making i'm drawn to her away you always have a home i was both the police has been at the plant is booming i had a feeling these ways might someday disappear so i started documenting them where to not say that the mothers in love
with them on this i know my grandmother lives by the cycle of the moon landing her garden when it's fallen cutting her hair when it's new she collects rainwater for drinking and bathing she leads prayer as the power to heal my grandmother told me stories of her childhood days living with her clan and fats domino camps they were the indigenous people of the delta whose bloodlines were mixed with french settlers they fish the waters and hunted and farmed on the land in the
louisiana purchase had forced my ancestors into the least desirable swamp lands between the chaff ally and mississippi rivers oh my nation has never been federally recognized my grandmother just calls herself french indian as my grandmother was growing up in the nineteen twenties the oil and gas industry was growing to andover eggs were spreading all around her all my grandmother's ninetieth birthday we get shut down by punishment to where she is
we were surprised how wide open these by you saw once they're only wide enough for a pea rowboat to pass you go flat affect up but cdc in one day in my life or should get into the middle class is the day when you i wish you love it would be thank you oh my great grandparents mark their acts on to those papers they don't know how to rewrite it barely knew how to speak english
the bad acts took away their land and so much more from the time my grandmother was born in nineteen fifteen to the time i was born in nineteen eighty the oil and gas industry laid tens of thousands of miles of pipelines and other over nine thousand miles of canals the slab of pipelines and canals helps louisiana produced for transport nearly one third of the nation's whaling gas supply
it will attract their native lands a grandmother and her family laughs ornish and nineteen forty three filled with gas move to saint bernard parish twenty miles from new orleans my father was raised in st bernard parish he grew up living the traditional ways and was proud of his native heritage when he started school on the second desegregation he was beaten for as long hair and dark skin oh yes you can't say
it i wanted to be a daddy's girl my father wasn't always around we got closer as i got older they need six ce ce ce ce ce ce ce it is clinton's
what is there a point where the way from new my father was always a magic man to me to make a car on without any gas any can make a dying man live he struggled with it ninth ward in new orleans weeks back
a man named mark week he introduced himself it was like running into an old fran and i had never met before the streets sunrise talk about i love louisiana and we and it tries to calm down the paiute to me my family and they met
a little bit the family felt comfortable with crowds around as curiosity was charming i was asking a lot of questions about the family's land you're literally you will bow to get to
the roots from the house as it will be clear that he doesn't interest on the year has it been getting worse or has it always been like and a lot of economists you're grown no more to go abroad dilorio the south louisiana is losing almost an acre of land every hour stories bigger story
is because it's both it has an i went deeper into exploring our louisiana are also falling in love with each other he taught me added to step inside her dance hall and we spent our sundays for aiding and second lines within a few months i was alone
with the most prominent town once i was working at a coffee shop ross was working as an actor he acted in a tv directly from that showed an environmental crisis waiting to happen in louisiana political affiliations john hamill you mentioned the pulse of the issues between the pipeline carries a million barrels i mean the show aired three months before hurricane katrina these big
names because it claims business and wales forty three thousand dollars per day to pass by at saturday's big piece but it's been the principal states six
weeks the casbah says but it's been that's ben davis became a lesbian class by itself but this
week the plan to pass this week just a circular thing that evacuee refugee exercise this boy is born there has been
fb page has barriers between fbi my father survived the storm by camping out on our route for nine days with the flock and he's paid a pack of dogs and a bottle of tequila well it's a look the world thought oh barry says that these men all of things will look like my grandmother and uncle were pulled on that you know
the punishment that for a couple of days the mock the levee to safety that he wrote helped save my grandmother when she was ninety just as a viewer did when she was alive in the hurricane of nineteen twenty six our people have survived the natural cycle of floods and storms for centuries but now we face natural disasters in a world manipulate an imam or the mississippi river gulf outlet mr go was dredged in the nineteen sixties as a shortcut from the port of new orleans to the gulf of mexico during katrina the mr go acted like a funnel for the storm surge contributing to the failure of
levees along the search slam on to our land mr merrell it is didn't want to talk about the uncertainty about our future i agree with you but the thing is is that if we know that it's mother nature and we know that also it's big it's a man made disaster as well because they're they've been in the particular you don't believe that the canals of clusters and i see happening and it's happening a short amount of time and i love the piano with my dad because it would've thought that maybe what the baroque we would've all been in effect now would never been entrenched yeah they had some water and
yet what i had some rain but no you understand this canal mississippi the mississippi christ on a place for us to stay in years hometown we were together but we still felt lost lessig it alone and the whole financial and there's not a new cdc and a lot of it going to do that on the point of the whole game oh
i shall pass la la and there's no living here now mr robin surveyed what's left of his life and his way of life a family seeking a business gone the ice house is gone the store gone mama's house gone this bridge broke has left a buyer shrimp and our oysters well the oyster beds are gone and where's our market it's gone to i got no choice i think i've got it we're allowed to go back home for weeks so kraus managing your arms along with that situation and say is this
so there's been rough but you know the person who's been a distressed loan to pay hurricane rita hit before you get the point after six weeks we were finally able to see my grandmother's house
it's been since bees bees by skype and going into more nurses and laying down to injury
the way is named because i step back to photograph and realize that this house was the least of our losses the land was time for us to make we found out in oil tank near our house had
been pushed over by katrina's flood spilling one point one million gallons of crude oil go but this is just a fraction of the eight million gallons of oil spilled during katrina and rita there's a sure we're going to go right to go there is no everything's partially because this is a global oil it's a perfect match to say is that we know people are dying people will lose touch that poison and that's all you're going to be sick this isn't the first time my family has had to deal with but we'll industry poisoning our land my cousin curry's been fighting a legal battle since the nineteen nineties
to stop the dumping of oilfield waste near her house my name is mary we learned that our children suffer from upper respiratory infections and bronchitis we land that our residents suffer from heart problems and the list goes on why we live the good life consider inoculation and says none has this is still has has its mistakes but i just think that there's a story to be told as one full body to you know piece together the american palate from people still relies on outsiders and everybody's story is not just one person
real slow crossing i took our cameras to the streets to capture the bizarre state of once familiar places the piece was but i'm for me this documentation with a way to process our er
for christ it was a political statement phone companies is actually saying some states because it's over and regulated oil and gas production and misguided canals and levees all had roles in this disaster and i was starting to find my real
thing few campers turning to our land down by the road even though our home was uninhabitable the people the pope for the pope the sequoia pole to lead the va the gold medals with aquatic jews that with their lives it's
a basic in it's been
ripped off bees bees business of these oscillations be so on now it's bankrupt and now we're here in europe why do some people have a hard time getting back home but during gas companies seem to have no trouble putting up new brakes
more gradual you can download both of universality tell me your name and what is this level of me is about two minnesota's going to want to do an unseemly and withdrew there are personality there's a concern with her consent one time and say that they will be the solo on the mandolin for that immediate album issue and he wanted us to sign the paper and it was twenty five dollars
that's right and if they say listen to trouble between us in again is it's been moved in to my grandmother says you don't know what to do and do it you know travis was more anxious to see progress
i'm very pleased to have with me mark krasnoff he's an actor and artist and activist a lifelong new orleans resident helper mr kress not just give us some sort of overall sense of the state of affairs but like a lot of holes but what's going on now is before a truly truly truly believe every class every race every catcher in exchange it has kept recording even when no one was listening naturally kaplan author of every day is basically like making up a new
plan to try to do something positive and you know look all you see is their station trial i get up each day my father was also losing his sense of place he seemed to be growing tired and weary his liver was failing and so what happened that followed almost certainly they gave me a new eye on the mother owned facilities there's not been enough to leave
for for now they've updated those with euro court said they were going to sleep it's a new year in my father says that if i accepted the consequences of those choices daisy to gauge of our hands and squeeze with ali had lived and peaceful each of his last three breaths and that was
my father had asked another piece i retreated to the moms on pensacola beach florida and stayed busy working at the bar she managed nina thank you when i return to louisiana the debris from my grandmother's house had been cleared and whats going to live in my grandmother my uncle moving back here in october hopefully to live in a baby double
wide margin fb i started to see the timelessness of cycles from nc beginnings as i was trying to make peace with the way life was a price kept pushing to expose the injustice with a relationship with you the superior langfitt who's been in the twentieth century when you know not only are we losing our connection with with the land actually
with living on the land and fishing from the land that farming on land but also our land is polluted and it's washing away how do you see a connection with them when it's really because it's just you know you said that she had a talk for you to talk to the people you mean this is like the awkwardness was awkward or talking with who didn't talk to me krauze and i were tired and frustrated are plans for the future kept shifting we see he was such a good actor i didn't realize how depressed he was nice set i can
sing i can see in say st louis city i can see that there are no lady sitting i can see in today's out there there's no or unfair i mean i envy you marry in manhattan alone real thing on september sixteenth two thousand six mar cross not shot
himself on the banks of the mississippi river he says beams baby we want to play the poem
is both the piece of the pie the peak to peak is being done i went to my grandmother's a piece is by his
boot yes but it's bingo my best friend sharon came to visit we talked about crimes tyler tapes left behind sharing our ferry to continue filming
to prepare them to pay its beak nice bean prices last wishes as for our documentation work to be shared piece together on our show i called her coffin boxes
after the rustic in the forecast the alliances is still alive and many scientists that really in my inspiration they say jesus is because be hannah had three days after the keys lower it explodes off louisiana's coast a matter both pleasant and then shrimp
season and no one's talking about the world need ms betsy mike hammer out something with my cousin chalet it's been leaking secret this may be the last healthy chance of the season for the world as its damage has been
he's been kids be worried maybe killing actually it will be a larger and eventually i can imagine in the marshes and recuperate but once it gets in our cars are more says unlike sanchez and again and cain who in their market and you have to move the marshall the nature take its course and amin years as ninety
only insanity plea arab league he represented a state is this again at a congested was a serious force my family worked at bp oil queen of the program is called the vessels of opportunity
ahead boyle seems to our wetlands and this is growing to become the largest accidental oil spill at her waters i decided to finish my bachelors degree at loyola university and mass communication
and the piano to peru i started reading students and researchers aren't worth giving a native perspective of louisiana's environmental crisis during hurricane injury now one of the holding tanks floated off of its basic reason i was also in the enchanted forest it was a huge mass cypress trees it's just cut down the trees or lying
i never wanted to political activists now realized that sentence by saying and honesty being on the same spot where parents had their trailer and building affordable home for myself out of the shipping container or irises it's been a pretty level keeps rising weather keeps getting
more stream and now a year later bp clean up workers from getting sick he going to see people getting sick says he worked directly in oil ignored the idea of american people who will be lost the whole generation that cleaned up the gulf that could be gone two years and not to mention drug and alcohol abuse and also some sites are the same people are depressed you know we've been treated bad throughout the years but this city could destroy our tribe are tribal people wore it indeed people as a whole since losing my father and you can see how the illness of our land and waters three people
were as a citizen i feel responsible to care for these big it was brian's started documenting a family the fbi now the senator's stories their witnesses are disappearing
state the polls sometimes wonders i grew to be as old as my grandmother lived in to live by the cycles collect rainwater and his sister maya this week's both
it's just because we're here with the filmmakers and we're also here with a co producer and the center of that fell money for dan joining us from chalmette louisiana and i mean it was very brave of you to have to reveal those moments in your life on camera and i would imagine it was also a pretty big responsibility for sharon to take those films and turn it into the film i talked to me about that process and that responsibility when she handed you the tapes yeah it was it is still a huge responsibility as well i had no idea really what the tapes contain don't i don't think money really knew where most of them contain either they were shot and then kind of set aside an end after mark
has not passed away on it i met monique and she was watching all the videos for some of them for the first time and he was very clear at that moment that she you should not be handling the tapes and watching us every day so you have for her own health i mean she was really coming out of so much and he was all unfolding still and an end you know the whole morning process is it's a very long time and so she handed me sixty hours of an added footage and i took them home and it's stirred years so i said i was sitting in my office watching this footage logging and really getting to know where the story kind of just unfolded internationally showed itself and it was still happening to and it still is happening environmental stories that very you know his continuing all the issues are still there i tell
them a bit about why it was so important for you to trace your roots to go back to the buyers and trace her roots i left louisiana and nineteen eighty five and i always knew that i would come back and sound when i returned in nineteen ninety eight by a ways i described it as watering my roots i was living with my grandmother and it's just trying to figure out this sense of place and so on the one hand that happening is that they didn't hear laughter hearing about my cousins being exposed to these toxic waste hits that are in a community called renoir which actually means big woods on adams they were fighting this long legal battle to have to get its close in that really kind of sparked my interest and doing documentary work it was led further down that by using
you know rode out in a sunrise to go shopping with my cousins and and they were there one scene of my cousins my father my grandmother you really started to point out to me what was happening and what had happened to our land over the last hundred years so they get a really strong sense of this whole identity grow you know very close to my grandmother even though i live in florida as a child i was always back here returning to write down how it does that my summers and my grandmother in and not kind of identity and ended the home in tradition i think for me as much more so connected to living off of the lands i mean i come from a long line of hunters and fishermen and on farming people i note you mentioned the film the home and not be in federally recognized as a triumph on what impact does that have on on the whole matter i think that's really interesting too hard to look at the whole man
as as tribal people who instead of being rounded up as many of their native people in the south and west rain and an indian reservations he kind of dodged the trail of tears by by going deeper and further south down by year's end and living off the land as we had her you know hundreds of years before and really living in these isolated by each new news that are connected by waterways and sits over the hard place to be because we have because we have no cyber lambaste because we have no representing people eyes being a people in the delta and now our land is disappearing at such a rapid rate and we have nowhere to go if he were fully protected tribal or a federally recognized tribe and that means that you have more say over what happens on her land is that right well we would have that we would have a land based we would have a secure land base and we don't have that we don't have that now
if we would have a land base that was safe and was in and you know at the ends of the earth falling into the gulf of mexico then that we would have the ability to continue our opinion a way of life which i think is really at the root and in the heart of the home of people you drop a strong link and then in the film about the oil and gas companies and the damage they're doing with their wetland the loss of the wetlands tell me a little bit about how specifically the whale and gas industries are damaging the environment in the oil and gas industries are just one part of the puzzle really you know the main reason why our wetlands are disappearing is because our wetlands are now being fresh water that the mississippi river is the life force for so since i'm the nineteen twenty seven flood it was
after the federal government decided to put in this this levee system up and down the mississippi and you know a pretty healthy vibrates delta here in south louisiana and what's happened is now that's essentially being suffocated when oil and gas companies have done though is they have exacerbated this already decaying landscape by allowing our by building these pipelines and spam and also exploration canals and they just won in a card that the landscape not thinking of the consequences and now you know we have all of the salt water that's coming in and it's changing what once was so fresh water environment as the water and so this song does and seeing the land which a you know a bad speeds that the land the loss of land as well let me ask you could new orleans even exist without the levees i mean it's under its under sea level not in the way
that it does now you know i think i think of new orleans that is on the concrete lily pad you're inside you're ok you're outside you're on your own and money i mean you become now voice for environmental issues and southeast louisiana what is that will be like for you was that something that you ever envision for yourself not in this way you know it's never our you imagine that it's really great to be able to to share this story end to have a dialogue about what's happening here in the delta my personal story is being used to raise awareness not only for fun you know the entire record for the whole month people themselves to be able to say okay well this is how we got here hands on an end hopefully will be able to find solutions and find ways that we can stay here and continue
our way of life it's not because i mean oil and gas isn't all good billion dollar industry in louisiana on but at the same time so his fishing and farming and the southeastern louisiana ice i guess the challenge is to figure out how can these to coexist you are and how you know i mean that's a really good question you know it's that it's hard because so many people even if they are commercial fisherman there are there are still you know making a live band working whaling asked when the seize end the shopping season and crabbing season is and i'm you know is an so we're all tied to the oil and gas industries but also you know how we live more responsibly i don't know but we have to start thinking about and talking about solutions in the foundation money says he's driving after katrina i'm driving down the
road ends looks at the trailers and says it's just a bad idea to build here is this what we're sort of stuck with since we settled there you know centuries ago yeah i think when they were developing that was i think shown that the chalmette the phone but when they were developing those areas those were low lying marshlands that really should not have then developed but i mean it was for profit and people were looking the other way and they were you know saying that they would be protected by the levees and i think there is a lot of false security there's something about louisiana people they're very tied to this place and it's a new generations of families who have lived off the water and the land and to tell people ok well you can't live here anymore and it is unfair because we had to sacrifice so much from you know allowing oil and gas companies to come and see you the loss of our wetlands to the channeling of the
mississippi river all of which has benefited the the nation and you know and that's what i like to say you know if that is is not as the louisiana stories is a national story and were all tied to louisiana and away from our you know our willingness additions to our you know global word that we have here at the mouth of the mississippi river and i think that we have to we have to adapt to living more with the environment as opposed to coming in and saying hey we can train bears and what am i some division then we need to think of different ways to live with the water to you ready for the next two arms two media have to relocate we've been talking about a restoration plan for a long time but we really need the federal government to support us and ominous and deborah were really going to be successful on and restoring wetlands that we so
desperately need it's been a real pleasure having year thank you so much for coming think you're happy they're thinking money and so much for being with us and that's it for another episode of america we framed for more on our series our phones and the people we showcase please visit as world channeled an award i'm natasha del toro thanks as you next time does beef burgers by a corporation and our team and our
Please note: This content is only available at GBH and the Library of Congress, either due to copyright restrictions or because this content has not yet been reviewed for copyright or privacy issues. For information about on location research, click here.
My Louisiana Love
Contributing Organization
Vision Maker Media (Lincoln, Nebraska)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/508-sn00z71v24).
Program Description
Also broadcast as an episode of America ReFramed.
Program Description
My Louisiana Love follows a young Native American woman, Monique Verdin, as she returns to Southeast Louisiana to reunite with her Houma Indian family. But soon she sees that her people's traditional way of life- fishing, trapping, and hunting these fragile wetlands is threatened by a cycle of man-made environmental crises. As Louisiana is devastated by Hurricane Katrina and Rita and then the BP oil leak, Monique finds herself turning to environmental activism. She documents her family's struggle to stay close to the land despite the cycle of disasters and the rapidly disappearing coastline. The film looks at the complex and uneven relationship between the oil industry and the indigenous community of the Mississippi Delta. In this intimate documentary portrait, Monique must overcome the loss of her house, her father, and her partner, and redefine the meaning of home. Her story is both unique and frighteningly familiar.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Social Issues
Local Communities
Race and Ethnicity
No copyright statement in content.
Media type
Moving Image
Host: Del Toro, Natasha
Producer: Hong, Sharon Linezo
Producer: Mallozzi, Julie
Producer: Verdin, Monique
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Vision Maker Media
Identifier: 2013-00384 (VMM Inventory #)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Duration: 0.060416667
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “My Louisiana Love,” 2012-00-00, Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 22, 2023,
MLA: “My Louisiana Love.” 2012-00-00. Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 22, 2023. <>.
APA: My Louisiana Love. Boston, MA: Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from