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Desert Bayou (2007)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 5

Although the presentation is sometimes clumsy, the compelling interviews and story make Desert Bayou always informative and enthralling.


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 1

Although the presentation is sometimes clumsy, the compelling interviews and story make Desert Bayou always informative and enthralling.



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 294

My Rating

Movie Info

Filmmaker Alex LeMay explores the plight of 600 African-Americans who were unwittingly airlifted into the predominantly Caucasian state of Utah in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in this documentary exploring the aftermath of one of the worst natural and humanitarian disasters in American history. When the water settled on New Orleans, the disaster had only begun. Now, as LeMay allows evacuees of Hurricane Katrina to tell their remarkable stories in their own words, viewers are


Documentary, Special Interest

Thomas G. Lemmer

Feb 19, 2008

Cinema Libre - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (5) | DVD (1)

This little known human interest story is a fascinating one.

November 26, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Director] LeMay earns points for his balanced presentation of key figures on both sides.

November 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There is undeniable power to the central dilemma of human beings at a crossroads.

October 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A thoughtful and interesting look at a little-told Katrina story.

October 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Desert Bayou is at its most compelling when it stops preachifying and focuses on the lives of two troubled families.

October 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are thousands of untold stories still left to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It's worth hearing the ones Alex LeMay shares in this compassionate, if somewhat underdeveloped, documentary.

October 5, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thematic agrees that the media stereotype blacks as uneducated thugs and rappers, while its own main characters are crack addicts, ex-cons, and Master P.

February 3, 2008 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly
I.E. Weekly

A fascinating glimpse at the almost endless obstacles given to Katrina survivors...

January 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A case of great material and sloppy presentation.

October 26, 2007
Salt Lake Tribune

Screenwriter Thomas Lemmer and director Alex LeMay appear to have some sort of agenda or ax to grind.

October 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

People rarely enter into audacious commitments with such unforeseeable consequences. For me, it casts Utah in a new and, surprisingly, positive light.

October 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

The result is by turns sad, infuriating, frustrating and cautiously hopeful.

October 18, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Does great justice to the appalling aftermath of the biggest natural disaster to hit America in our lifetime.

October 12, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

LeMay's approach is a clumsily obvious one which demeans everything by turning the men's experiences into a kind of reality-TV soap opera.

October 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A scathing documentary baring a nation into deep denial about lingering buried injustices and inequities which rose to the surface exposed to the light of day, in the wake of the Katrina floods.

October 9, 2007 Full Review
WBAI Web Radio

The failure of our current administration to act openly and efficiently in a time of crisis gets another documentary close-up in Alex LeMay's humanistic and provocative Desert Bayou.

October 5, 2007

Succeeds in furthering the much-needed dialogue on a defining event in our current political moment.

October 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

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