“Most Americans are tired of Katrina stories, or perhaps we think the city is mending. Think again. Matthew Hashiguchi & Elaine McMillion’s new documentary, THE LOWER 9 is a deeply disturbing, but an astonishingly beautiful visual and oral account of the ongoing devastation and broken promises that residents of one of New Orleans’ hardiest hit communities still face. The six storytellers recount vivid memories of family, food, music, church and hard work that defined their primarily working and middle class African American community before the flood; and they make clear that today… in 2011… right now…their community has not recovered from the 2005 catastrophe, that many former residents who want to come home-- cannot, and that the community wants and needs the support of the American government and others who say they care about New Orleans.”
- Julie Gustafson, Independent Filmmaker
“THE LOWER 9 is haunting and beautifully crafted. The film gives voice to six survivors of Hurricane Katrina. It does not concentrate on the catastrophe and aftermath, as many films have done, but instead focuses on the recollections of those who survived and stayed, as they describe the community that is no more. Their interviews are intermixed with detailed images of the ruin that allow us to contemplate the lives that were lost and changed. With understated power, THE LOWER 9 makes a convincing argument for rebuilding the neighborhood and not forgetting its inhabitants.”
- Jan Roberts Breslin, Director of Visual and Media Art at Emerson College
"Six New Orleans residents share stories about life before Hurricane Katrina in this oral-history-style documentary… Images of the devastated remnants of homes are intercut with scenes from house parties, backyard barbecues, church services, and a street corner rap session… Offering a powerful look at Katrina's legacy on one of the hardest hit areas of New Orleans, this is recommended."
- K. Fennessy, Video Librarian Magazine