Re: Tragedy struck today in New Orleans.

From: nicole koschmann (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Jan 13 2007 - 14:23:56 PST


I know exactly how you feel. I never met Helen Hill either, only spoke to
her on the phone a few times about my using her book in my experimental
production class. She was so generous about her book and we also spoke about
being new mothers. But her death has also struck me hard. I think it is
because somehow her death is too close. She was too like my own close
friends, myself, my colleagues: experimental filmmaker, vegan, mother,
activist, etc. But this leads me to rethink my own response to Katrina and
the many other people who have died and are struggling as a result of that

I spoke to a colleague about Helen Hill's death yesterday and his immediate
response was the same as yours: "I hate the United States." I thought it was
interesting that he didn't say "I hate Helen Hill's killer." I do think the
United States government is somehow responsible for her death. I know that
sounds a bit conspiracy-theory-ish but i don't mean it that way. People are
so angry there. And rightfully so. They shouldn't kill, obviously, but they
should be angry. But that sort of anger is so misdirected, often directed at
the people close by, and the people close by often being the people who are
trying to help...

Anyway, I haven't really known what to write (or film) about her or her
death and I am still figuring it out. All I know is that for many reasons
her death has depressed me more than I would think, not having known her
personally. So I understand what you wrote, Freya.


>From: Freya <email suppressed>
>Reply-To: Experimental Film Discussion List <email suppressed>
>To: email suppressed
>Subject: Re: Tragedy struck today in New Orleans.
>Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2007 13:49:55 -0800
>Apologies to the nice people who have sent replies to
>me on the list recently to whom I have not replied.
>I'm sorry I've just not felt up to it. Sometime in the
>future I'm sure I will pop back and have a normal
>chat, but I can't even now.
>I've been really, really shocked and upset by the news
>about Helen Hill. I've sadly never met Helen but from
>all your descriptions she sounds like exactly the kind
>of filmmaker I would have loved to have met. She wrote
>fanzines, tried to help people, made beautiful films
>and even had a pet pig! I really got the impression
>she was someone who cared and believed in doing good
>things. She seemed like a very special person.
>It would be a tradgedy at the best of times were it
>not that Helen and her family seem like the kind of
>people who do soooooo much to help others. I feel
>somewhat heartbroken already so maybe it is just as
>well that I have never met her as I would be
>undoutedly be a thousand times more upset than I
>already feel.
>That this happened to a survivor of New Orleans is a
>second horrible irony for me. I've been having a hard
>time of things myself the last couple of years and
>when the disaster happened in New Orleans I took much
>heart from the fact that there were all these people
>who had lost EVERYTHING but they were smiling and
>looking forward to the future and talking about how
>they were going to make a fresh start. It filled me
>with hope for my own situation. Whenever there was
>something about New Orleans out there I would read it
>avidly and wish positive things for the people out
>there. "Go for it, make a new life" I would think. I
>felt proud of them and looked up to those people. I
>wanted them to create wonderful and beautiful new
>lives from scratch. I wanted them to do everything
>I've failed to do for my own life. I really wanted to
>believe in them.
>It's been days now and I'm still crying and really
>upset writing this now.
>When Spike Lees new film came out I went to a lot of
>trouble to try and see it. I wanted to know how things
>were going there.
>It was very apparent to me from what I saw, that the
>government were still ignoring New Orleans. That they
>had done little to help in what has been a staggering
>disaster. It shouldn't suprise me. When it first
>happened I came up with all kinds of plans in my mind
>to get help to the people trapped in New Orleans, in
>spite of the fact that it surely must have had all of
>its road transport infrastructure destroyed. Of course
>it turned out there was nothing wrong with the roads
>to the superbowl, what was wrong was in the hearts and
>minds of the people in the united states government.
>They just didn't care, not at all.
>I'm sure you are all thinking the same thing that I
>am, that this tradgedy wouldn't have happened if there
>had been a real effort on the part of the united
>states government to genuinely address the disaster in
>New Orleans. I really believe this to be true.
>I hate the government of the united stats of america.
>What a start to the new year this has been. :(
>Really upset...
>love to you all.
>Take Care...
>Have a burning question?
>Go to and get answers from real people who know.
>For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.