This is a guest post from filmmaker Carmen Elsa Lopez.
Off the coast of Southern Louisiana lives a man of the sea. Edison Dardar was born on a fisherman’s boat near Isle de Jean Charles, where he has lived his entire 74 years. Each morning, a mixture of howling winds and salty air wakes him up. Half asleep, he climbs on his much-too-small bicycle and starts his journey. As he pedals down the island, visions of lush, merrier days follow him along skeletons of oak and cypress trees, weathered toys and sofas, exposed bathrooms and deserted driveways that belonged to members of his tribe that are now gone. He follows the flooded Island Road that links his community to the mainland, passing the eroding and expanding canals of the oil and gas industry, into the disappearing marsh, where he climbs off the bike and gracefully casts his net into the water. This is the life he cherishes and he is prepared to shoot you if you get in the way. Check out the trailer here:
Louisiana’s coastal marshland is eroding at the equivalent of one football field every 30 minutes, every hour of every day, every week and every month. Only a half-mile of Isle de Jean Charles is left — and it’s slowly sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. The island has been a refuge for Native Americans escaping the persecutions of the mainland since the 1840s. On the isle they lived bountifully with vegetable gardens and cattle, fishing and shrimping. The animals and gardens are now gone, the fish and shrimp contaminated. In the old days, barrier islands protected the twenty four square mile isle from hurricane damage. But since oil and gas companies began carving canals in the 1930s, saltwater has soaked into the marshlands, attacking and eroding everything in its path. With its barrier islands gone, Isle Jean Charles is left unprotected to the fury of hurricanes. Five hurricanes in the last decade alone.
Filmmakers Evan Abramson and Carmen Elsa Lopez expect to complete LAST STAND ON THE ISLAND in the Spring of 2013. Follow the film on FACEBOOK. Check out Last Stand on the Island Kickstarter OR to 11 minute trailer in Vimeo