After the Storm

Made more for the kids' sake than to communicate their story to outside auds.

With:
With: James Lecesne, Randy Redd, Gerry McIntyre, Peg Culligan, Rayan Arnold, Annie Britton, Eric T. Calhoun, Griffin Collins III, Deshawn Dabney, Joel Callonia Dyson, Hannah Guillory, Grant Hunter, Taylor Mars, Ashley Rose Richard, Jasmin Simmons, Jon Stevenson, April Stewart.

Oscar-winning activist James Lecesne knew he’d made an inspired choice mounting the Broadway “hurricane musical” “Once on This Island” in a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, and it shows in his subsequent decision to chronicle a Gotham team’s uphill efforts to recruit teenagers from the city’s Lower Ninth Ward to perform the show in a damaged community center. But Lecesne and helmer Hilla Medalia are too close to the process, and the resulting documentary, “After the Storm,” feels like it was made more for the kids’ sake than to communicate their story to outside auds, who would likely prefer a condensed newsmag-style recap.

It’s no fault of the young performers that a protracted retelling of their rehearsal process fails to excite; Medalia might have devoted less attention to the drama-prone adults (including original “Island” castmember Gerry McIntyre). More context, along the lines of the intermittent video diary entries and visits to the teens’ storm-ravaged homes, would have made the inspiring opening-night finale even more effective (as would steadier equipment and a more professional crew), since the backstage quibbles seem but minor hurdles compared with the personal challenges they overcome in the process.

After the Storm

Production: A Priddy Brothers presentation in association with Know Prods. Produced by Hilla Medalia, John Priddy, Ed Priddy. Executive producers, John Priddy, Ed Priddy, James Lecesne; co-producer, Katie Schulz. Directed by Hilla Medalia. Screenplay, Bob Eisenhardt, Medalia.

Crew: Camera (color DV), Ran Shetreet, William Sabourin O'Reilly, Guy Jackson; editor, Eisenhardt; music, Steven Flaherty. Reviewed at the Landmark, Los Angeles, June 9, 2009. (In Los Angeles Film Festival -- competing.) Running time: 89 MIN.

With: With: James Lecesne, Randy Redd, Gerry McIntyre, Peg Culligan, Rayan Arnold, Annie Britton, Eric T. Calhoun, Griffin Collins III, Deshawn Dabney, Joel Callonia Dyson, Hannah Guillory, Grant Hunter, Taylor Mars, Ashley Rose Richard, Jasmin Simmons, Jon Stevenson, April Stewart.

More Film

  • Loving Vincent Animation Oscars

    'Loving Vincent' Nabs Oscar Nomination: Kickstarter Touts Academy Awards Streak

    Oscar-winning activist James Lecesne knew he’d made an inspired choice mounting the Broadway “hurricane musical” “Once on This Island” in a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, and it shows in his subsequent decision to chronicle a Gotham team’s uphill efforts to recruit teenagers from the city’s Lower Ninth Ward to perform the show in a damaged community […]

  • Berlin Market: Korea's 'Monstrum' Picked up

    Berlin Film Market: Korea's 'Monstrum' Picked up by Finecut

    Oscar-winning activist James Lecesne knew he’d made an inspired choice mounting the Broadway “hurricane musical” “Once on This Island” in a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, and it shows in his subsequent decision to chronicle a Gotham team’s uphill efforts to recruit teenagers from the city’s Lower Ninth Ward to perform the show in a damaged community […]

  • Damsel Sundance Film Festival

    Sundance Film Review: 'Damsel'

    Oscar-winning activist James Lecesne knew he’d made an inspired choice mounting the Broadway “hurricane musical” “Once on This Island” in a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, and it shows in his subsequent decision to chronicle a Gotham team’s uphill efforts to recruit teenagers from the city’s Lower Ninth Ward to perform the show in a damaged community […]

  • 'Get Out,' 'Dunkirk' Back In Theaters

    'Get Out,' 'Dunkirk' to Return to Movie Theaters Following Oscar Nominations

    Oscar-winning activist James Lecesne knew he’d made an inspired choice mounting the Broadway “hurricane musical” “Once on This Island” in a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, and it shows in his subsequent decision to chronicle a Gotham team’s uphill efforts to recruit teenagers from the city’s Lower Ninth Ward to perform the show in a damaged community […]

  • Sundance Film Festival Placeholder

    A&E, Sundance Institute Partner on Documentary Film Grants (EXCLUSIVE)

    Oscar-winning activist James Lecesne knew he’d made an inspired choice mounting the Broadway “hurricane musical” “Once on This Island” in a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, and it shows in his subsequent decision to chronicle a Gotham team’s uphill efforts to recruit teenagers from the city’s Lower Ninth Ward to perform the show in a damaged community […]

  • Anne Hathaway Live Fast Die Hot

    Anne Hathaway's 'Barbie' Moved Back Two Years to 2020

    Oscar-winning activist James Lecesne knew he’d made an inspired choice mounting the Broadway “hurricane musical” “Once on This Island” in a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, and it shows in his subsequent decision to chronicle a Gotham team’s uphill efforts to recruit teenagers from the city’s Lower Ninth Ward to perform the show in a damaged community […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content