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Film / Louisiana Story

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Louisiana Story is a 1948 film directed by Robert Flaherty.

It is a somewhat plotless tale, filmed in quasi-documentary style, of a young boy, Alexander Napoleon Ulysses Latour, living in the Louisiana bayou. Alexander, a young Cajun, roams around the backwoods of the bayou with his pet raccoon. An oil company arrives to drill for oil behind his father's house, but the oil company and the Le Tour family get along fine. More conflict is produced when an alligator eats Alexander's raccoon.

Louisiana Story was commissioned by Standard Oil in an effort to convince people that drilling for oil in the Louisiana swamps would not render them a filthy, befouled mess. It was the final film for Flaherty, the father of the documentary feature whose career dated back to Nanook of the North in 1922. However this film, unlike Nanook, doesn't really even pretend to be a documentary.

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Tropes:

  • "Awesome McCool" Name: "Alexander Napoleon Ulysses Latour"
  • Barefoot Poverty: Alexander traipses around without shoes.
  • Disturbed Doves: Flocks of birds fly away as Alexander takes potshots at animals in the swamp.
  • Mama Bear: An alligator that gets very pissed off when it sees Alexander messing with its eggs.
  • Narrator: In the opening scenes to establish the setting, not heard after that.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: None given for the Cajun dialogue, like in the long scene near the end where the father gives the mother a new pot and Alexander a new rifle.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: No doubt Jojo the raccoon would say this if it could talk, when it shows up in the trees long after Alexander thought it had been eaten by the alligator.
  • Scenery Porn: Jaw-dropping photography of the Louisiana swamps.
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  • Silence Is Golden: Large chunks of the film are nothing more than Alexander in his pirogue boat, tooling around the swamp, with no dialogue.
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