On the far eastern edge of New Orleans, in a neighborhood called Versailles, exists the densest ethnic Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. After Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans proposed dumping toxic debris in a giant landfill next to the tight-knit community. This excerpt from the documentary, A Village Called Versailles, tells the story of how the neighborhood fought back against the government-imposed landfill and continues to thrive. “I know this sounds really strange, but Katrina for us in many ways was a good thing,” says Father Vien Nguyen. “It galvanized the people. We have a sense of who we are, or who we could be.”
The full-length documentary is streaming for free on PBS until September 19. For more information about the film, visit the Independent Lens website. A Village Called Versailles can also be purchased on iTunes and Amazon.