Science on Screen: Rat Film (2016)

  • dir. Theo Anthony 84 min.

    Thursday, May 17 7:00PM

    Marigny Opera House

  • 725 St. Ferdinand
  • New Orleans, LA 70117
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  • Pricing Information
  • Free and open to the public

  • Synopsis
  • Theo Anthony’s uniquely immersive new documentary uses the unpopular rodent as a means to examine segregation, classism, and public health in Baltimore. Maureen Jones’ robotic voiceover narration carries us through Baltimore’s history, paralleling the city’s treatment of rats and its black residents, while Dan Deacon’s perfectly eerie score imbues each scene with an unsettling tension. This visionary feature debut is imaginative and real, profound and quirky in its storytelling, demonstrating a keen eye for experimentation and thoughtful investigation of injustice. Although the film focuses on the city of Baltimore, the core message can be applied to most American cities where civic policies have been enacted to hide and perpetuate insidious motivations. Harold Edmond, pest exterminator and the film’s philosophical center, succinctly summarizes what’s at stake: “It ain’t never been a rat problem in Baltimore; it’s always been a people problem.”

    Following the screening, Sandra Serna, Associate Director of Healthy Communities Portfolio at the Louisiana Public Health Institute, will discuss our city’s own redlining maps and the larger context of how land use laws and policies have long term consequences on health and wealth/asset-building for communities.

    Sandra V. Serna, MPH, is a public health professional and advocate with over a decade of local, regional, and national experience. As the Associate Director of the Healthy Communities Portfolio at Louisiana Public Health Institute, she oversees projects with an emphasis on the social determinants of health and how to use interdisciplinary data for multi-sector collaboration and community improvement planning. Sandra also guides LPHI’s advocacy efforts to expand fair and affordable housing options in the Greater New Orleans region, and represents LPHI on the Complete Streets Coalitions for Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.

    A native of Baton Rouge, Sandra got her start in public health as a prenatal health and HIV prevention educator, kick-starting a lifelong interest in addressing the root causes of poor health, poverty, and social vulnerability. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan.

    Science on Screen® at Shotgun Cinema is made possible through a grant from the Coolidge Corner Theatre, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


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