“My Louisiana Love” will be screened tomorrow night at Pensacola Museum of Art. The story following Monique Verdin as she researches her Houma Indian background and finds that her family’s beloved land is slowly slipping away.
Verdin’s film has already been shown in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, and last week she brought “My Louisiana Love” back to her hometown in Pensacola at Paradise Bar and Grill.
On a perfect summer night, July 31, family, friends and Paradise customers sat under the stars and her Verdin’s tale of loves lost – her father, her boyfriend and the bayou lands south of Houma, La.
“It’s a complex relationship – it is what it is,” Verdin said of her relationship with Louisiana. “This was a learning experience for me to say the least, it was a beautiful experience.”
Verdin never set out to be an advocate. What started as a personal story about her rich family history became so much more after Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.
“I never wanted to point any fingers,” Verdin said. “I just hope the audience understands how important Louisiana has been to our country.”
When Verdin’s boyfriend and documentary partner, Mark Krasnoff, committed suicide, it was her best friend Sharon Linezo Hong who stepped in to make sure the work Verdin and Krasnoff did was not in vain.
“I’m not a filmmaker, but I am a film junkie,” she said. “I had no idea what I was getting into.”
Even with a few screenings under her belt Verdin, who was reluctant to be in front of the camera for the movie, still finds it strange to present herself to an audience of strangers.
“It’s always weird – trying to be comfortable,” she said. “But I’m not going to give this up.”
Verdin and Hong hope that the overall message to movie viewers is to that they become more aware of their environment.
“It can just be small choices,” Hong said. “Like for Monique, she drives a Prius.”
As for the ending to Verdin’s Louisiana love story, there’s still more she could explore.
“It’s still uncertain, I can’t stop that water,” she said. “What I love is knowing people that have survived through adaption. That gives us our strength.”
Tomorrow night you can watch “My Louisiana Love” and participate in a Q&A with Verdin.
“MY LOUISIANA LOVE”
WHEN: 6 p.m. Aug. 9
WHERE: Pensacola Museum of Art, 407 S. Jefferson St.
COST: $5 $2 for students and active military and free for museum members
DETAILS: 432-6247 or pensacolamuseumofart.org