Quick recap: A sweet story about a young Cajun boy who loves hunting alligator, his pet raccoon, and Big Oil.
Fun (?) fact: Director Robert Flaherty used local actors for Louisiana Story, which confused many people into thinking this was a documentary.
My thoughts: If this had been a movie about a Cajun child and his adventures on the bayous, I probably would’ve enjoyed it more than I actually did. Although, as a side note, most summaries referred to the boy as having an ‘idyllic’ life, which is true if you think ‘idyllic’ means being in constant fear of getting eaten by gators.
The story about the oil derrick being set up outside the family’s house just didn’t make sense with the rest of the movie. Most of the time it felt like I was watching one of those old Disney nature films (you know, the one where they would purposefully throw lemmings off the cliff), but then the scene would switch to oil with the happy music still in place and it was confusing. In 2015, a story about Big Oil will most certainly end in tragedy, but in this movie the tragedy never came and everyone lived happily ever after.
The reason for this is because Louisiana Story was funded by the Standard Oil company with ‘no strings attached’, but I could practically see strings dangling from every aspect of this film. It is essentially a propaganda film. The movie takes great pains to show that no part of nature was harmed, and that the family ended up prospering because of the lease they signed. In reality, that’s just not something that happens and I’m curious if people back then bought the lie. It became downright creepy, all the scenes of the oil workers staring at the simple Cajun boy and him smiling back. A whole 5 minutes is devoted to this at the end of the film, with everyone waving stupidly to each other and staring longingly into each other’s eyes. Why don’t you just marry Big Oil, Cajun boy?
Final review: 2/5. The only saving grace is that darn raccoon, who has more sense than anyone else in this film.
Up next: Shadow of a Doubt