Screening tonite at Hot Docs: BURY THE HATCHET a film by Aaron Walker. Toronto Star’s pick for Top 10 docs to see!

BURY THE HATCHET, directed by Aaron Walker, North American Premiere at HOT DOCS. Screening tonite at 7pm, Cumberland. Screens again Tuesday May 3, 4:30pm, at Cumberland

North American Premiere at HOT DOCS!
May 1, 2011          – 7:00PM              – Cumberland 3
May 3, 2011          – 4:30PM              – Cumberland 3


Directed by Aaron Walker
Country: USA                        Language: English                RT: 86 min


Grand Prize, Royal Anthropological Institute Festival of Ethnographic Film, England 2010

Intangible Culture Award, Royal Anthropological Institute Festival of Ethnographic Film, England 2010

Best Louisiana Feature, New Orleans Film Festival 2010

Five bleak years post-Katrina, the acclaimed, musically-rich documentary BURY THE HATCHET offers a glimpse of polyglot that is the real New Orleans with its dynamic portrait of three Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs, bearers of tradition as artists, musicians and oral historians.

Descendants of runaway slaves given harbor by the Native Americans in the bayous of Louisiana, these practitioners of centuries-old tradition sew elaborate indigenous-stylized costumes and parade through the streets on “Fat Tuesday,” singing traditional songs that contribute another layer to New Orleans’ already rich musical vernacular.

Following these men, we experience the precariousness of the New Orleans black community — from the destruction of middle class African-American neighbourhoods to make way for an interstate highway, to police crackdowns, the reality of violence, aging and death, and finally the decimation of their community with Hurricane Katrina.

While the Chiefs differ in many ways, their need to pass on their traditions drives all three Mardi Gras Indians as they give schoolbooks to children, teach the craft of sewing and song, tell stories, give advice, and generally serve as de facto community leaders.

With a celebratory soundtrack of New Orleans music and additional scoring by pianist George Winston, the film is an intimate entry into this often hidden New Orleans experience.  Musical artists include The Wild Tchoupitoulas; Donald Harrison Jr.; The Dirty Dozen Brass Band; Arvo Part; Jimmy Scott; Big Chief Alfred Doucette; Baby Dodds Trio; Earnest Skipper; Young Guardians of the Flame; Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & The Golden Eagles.

AARON WALKER is a director, cinematographer and editor whose works include the award-winning short film Summer Light.  He is director and editor of projects with Marianne Faithfull, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Pearl Jam, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Allen Toussaint; was videographer and editor for the DVD featurettes for The Dukes of Hazzard as well as the Burt Reynolds feature Deal; was editor for the feature-length documentary Desire; and has been videographer and editor for many New Orleans music and documentary productions.

Executive Producer – Marie Slaight | Consulting Producer – Tim Watson | Associate Producer – George Ingmire

Co-Editor – Amy Sanderson.  | A Cine-Marais and Altaire Productions Release