Gavin Miller’s documentary Hurricane Katrina Through the Eyes of the Children is a heartbreaking flashback to a disaster that ruined homes and separated families.
Miller interviews victims of Katrina throughout the classrooms and halls of Ruston Jr. High School in Ruston, Louisiana. The film opens with Briea, a victim of Hurricane Katrina. She gives a solemn and impactful interview about half of her family and friends being lost in the disaster and how she can no longer return home.
Miller crafts a diverse atmosphere of experiences, interviewing children from New Orleans, students of the junior high, teachers and the principal. Each backstory is different, those affected describing stressful situations, loss and heartbreak.
Human connections have helped these kids adapt, but the evacuees of the hurricane struggled to fit in with the students at their new school. Some children find the way the evacuee children talk humorous. But as they are interviewed together, they agree that they are all the same age and like the same things.
The female teachers of Ruston Jr. High School keep their interviews professional and explain the help provided to the children. But, underneath some maternal instincts, there is an unsettling feeling about their own families and their safety throughout the disaster.
Miller creates a personal atmosphere with each interviewee. The viewer really feels as if they are witnessing the moment, listening to their story, asking questions about their family and homes, wondering where they will be months from now and wondering if they will ever move back to New Orleans.
The documentary’s greatest strengths are beautiful stories of how heartbroken people are making the most of their situation, living day to day with the clothes on their backs, food on their stoves, good company and new friends.
You can watch Gavin Miller’s new documentary in its entirety here.