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Mark Sullivan / Nick Scurfield
On the Mark Communications


HCAS, MFAH Films, PBS and Our Image Partner to Screen

Jonathan Demme Documentary Provides Intimate Look at
New Orleans Matriarch’s Quest to Rebuild After Hurricane Katrina

HOUSTON, TX – Jonathan Demme went to New Orleans with the idea of documenting the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina and the rebuilding of the Lower Ninth Ward but when he met Carolyn Parker, his plan changed. His intriguing documentary, I’M CAROLYN PARKER: THE GOOD, THE MAD, AND THE BEAUTIFUL will be screened in the Brown Auditorium at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) on Sunday, August 19 at 7:15 p.m. thanks to a collaboration between Houston Cinema Arts Society, MFAH, Our Image and POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series. In addition, producer Daniel Wolff will be at the screening and will conduct a question and answer session afterward.

In the summer of 2005, Carolyn Parker was the last to leave her neighborhood when a mandatory evacuation order was decreed as Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans. After the flood, Mrs. Parker was the first resident to return to her devastated community with the “impossible dream” of bringing her ruined home back to life.

I’M CAROLYN PARKER: THE GOOD, THE MAD, AND THE BEAUTIFUL unfolds as an inspiring portrait of an extraordinary woman. Demme along with Mrs. Parker takes us on a five-year journey deep inside Parker’s personal biography as a child born in the 1940′s and raised in segregated New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. As a teenager, she joined the front lines in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960′s, then she worked for thirty years as a cook-turned-chef in the hotel industry, and became one of the most outspoken voices in the fight for every New Orleanian’s right to return home after the devastation of the floods that followed Katrina. That Carolyn faced these odds with unbridled wit, spirituality and an abiding sense of social justice borne of her life in New Orleans makes for a unique cinematic tale of personal triumph. In the end, her fearlessness and courage led to the crusade of her life, the rebuilding of her beloved neon-green house, her church, her community—and her life.

Coproducer with Demme, Wolff is also an author who has spent much time covering the subject of New Orleans. His book, The Fight for Home: How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back will be the subject of an appearance on Aug. 19 at 2:00 p.m. at Brazos Bookstore, located at 2421 Bissonnet Street, between Kirby and Greenbriar.

Wolff is also the author of How Lincoln Learned to Read; 4th of July, Asbury Park; You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke; and two volumes of poetry, among other books. His writing has appeared in publications ranging from Vogue to Wooden Boat to Education Weekly. He, with Jonathan Demme, have produced several documentary film projects on New Orleans.

Tickets for I’M CAROLYN PARKER: THE GOOD, THE MAD, AND THE BEAUTIFUL cost $7.00 for general admission and $6.00 for members of MFAH and HCAS, seniors and students with ID. The MFAH Films box office accepts payment by cash, check, and credit cards. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the box office, online at, or at Membership or Visitor Services desks in the Law and Beck Buildings during museum hours. The box office opens one hour before the show time.Additionally, advance film tickets may be purchased in the lobbies during museum hours and on

Visiting filmmakers at MFAH are supported by a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Houston Cinema Arts Society is a non-profit organization created in 2008 with the support of former Houston Mayor Bill White and the leadership of Franci Crane. HCAS organizes and hosts the annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival, a groundbreaking and innovative arts festival featuring films and new media by and about artists in the visual, performing and literary arts.  The festival celebrates the vitality and diversity of the arts in Houston and enriches the city’s film and arts community. HCAS sponsors include the Crane Foundation, a grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Levantine Entertainment, Houston First Corporation, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Champion Energy Services, Amegy Bank of Texas, The Brown Foundation, Inc. and others. The project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Texas Commission on the Arts. The 2013 Houston Cinema Arts Festival was held Nov. 6-10. For more information, please visit HCAS at