Lenett Films Production and LS3 Studios presented a private screening at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center. A Place Called Desire is a documentary feature film telling the powerful story of an often forgotten community in the upper 9th Ward in New Orleans. It has been in the making for 12 years, offers many unforgettable history lessons applicable to American history, Louisiana history, African American history, urban history, racial history, studies of neighborhoods, studies of survival, and memorable stories of love and community. Somehow the filmmaker shares hard truths with a gentle touch.
We held the following panel discussion after the viewing.
Bernice Bennett: And so that’s my community, and I never thought that this was there was negative anything negative about growing up in the Ninth Ward. I just was excited to see my mother and to hear her say things that we all laughed at because she often talked about how she almost talked herself out of a home. She wanted to stay uptown. But just to see everyone in this documentary share their experiences brought back wonderful, warm memories.
Rev. Daniel Perkins: I was well pleased with the first of all, the quality of the documentary and the putting together. It was really good. I just wish it could be shown more and in more places. And I was hoping that George Carraby and Johnny would all be the guy that was in the documentary. I’m from the Desire. I think we moved into Desire and still building it. We were halfway through. We moved in the center of the project that was still building the back part of it. And I think I love Desire so much that if somebody would cut me, some of the ghetto may start bleeding out, but I would never exchange my upbringing for nothing in this world. In fact, I traveled all over this country and everywhere I go, people recognize our accent. They try to figure out where they come from. And the first thing they want to know, where are you from? And my response to them is always the same. I’m from Desire, Louisiana.
Kirk Stevens: And I’m very, very happy to have been a part of this, and I just want to give a big shout out to Leonard for put this together.