Bury The Hatchet features three Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs in a dynamic portrait of the unique and endangered culture of New Orleans they represent–as bearers of tradition, as artists and as musicians.
Descendents of runaway slaves given harbor by the Native Americans in the bayous of Louisiana, these practitioners of a hundreds-years-old tradition sew elaborate costumes resembling those of the Indians, parading through the streets of the city on Mardi Gras day while singing traditional songs that contribute another layer to New Orleans’ already rich musical vernacular.
Following these men, we get to experience the vulnerability of the black community in New Orleans–from the destruction of middle class African-American neighborhoods to make way for an interstate highway, to the violence that once defined their culture, to police crackdowns, the reality of aging and death, and finally the absolute devastation of their community following Hurricane Katrina.
While the Chiefs differ in many ways, their need to pass on their traditions drives all three men as they give schoolbooks to children, teach the craft of sewing and song, tell stories and give advice, and generally serve as informal leaders in their communities.
Yet despite their setbacks, the Mardi Gras Indians display an overwhelming sense of determination and vitality in their dedication to their community.
Aaron Walker is a director, cinematographer and editor whose works include the award-winning short film Summer Light. He is director and editor of music videos by The Blind Boys of Alabama, Pearl Jam, Timothea, Lance Ellis, Ozlem Tekin; was videographer and editor for the DVD featurettes for The Dukes of Hazzard as well as the Burt Reynolds feature Deal; was editor for the feature-length documentary Desire; and has been videographer and editor for many New Orleans music and documentary productions.
A graduate with a B.A. in European History from The American University of Paris, he also has an M.F.A. in Film Production from The University of New Orleans.
Sound Engineer/Associate Producer
George Ingmire is a New Orleans-based sound engineer, radio producer and documentary filmmaker. He has worked sound on many documentary productions, including Spike Lee’s If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise (2010), When the Levees Broke (2006), Trouble the Water (2008) and Harry Shearer’s The Big Uneasy (2010). He is a programmer on a weekly New Orleans radio show for WWOZ radio and has a nationally syndicated radio program, New Orleans All the Way Live, a radio program that focuses on the music, food and culture of New Orleans.
His film work includes the film Think of Me First as a Person, which was one of 25 films to be recognized by the National Film Registry, Library of Congress in 2006. He holds a B.A. in Anthropology and a M.F.A. in Film production from the University of New Orleans.
Post Production Supervising Producer
Tim Watson is a documentary editor, writer, and producer in New Orleans. He co-produced the CPB/ITVS-funded The Music’s Gonna Get You Through (2010); was story and editing consultant for A Crooked Line (2010); edited Vows of Silence (2008); edited Member Of The Club (2008); co-produced and edited the ITVS-funded By Invitation Only (2006); edited a documentary segment for HBO Comic Relief (2006); co-produced and edited A Player To Be Named Later (2005); co-produced and edited the Ford Foundation and MacArthur Foundation funded Desire (2005); edited and co-wrote Shalom Y’All (2002); edited Ruthie The Duck Girl (1999).
Julie Gustafson is an award-winning filmmaker who began producing video documentaries on women’s issues in the early 1970s, including Giving Birth (1976), The Pursuit of Happiness (1983), and Casting the First Stone (1991). She was co-director of Global Village, a major center for video documentary in New York. Gustafson’s first film, The Politics of Intimacy (1974), was a feminist landmark because of its frank discussion on women’s sexuality.
An educator, as well as an artist and curator, Gustafson taught for many years at The New School for Social Research in New York City. She was a member of the graduate and undergraduate faculties of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University, both in Philadelphia. Her most recent film, Desire, has received significant recognition, including Al Gore’s ‘Reel Current Award for Best Documentary’ at the 2006 Nashville Film Festival, as well as, the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 New Orleans Film Festival.
Amy Sanderson is a script supervisor and editor whose credits include The Expendables (2010), Tekken (2010), Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009), The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call-New Orleans (2009), Desire (2005), among many others.
Titles and Motion Designer/CG Artist
Joshua currently works at Bent Image Lab in Portland, Oregon. He started his career at Blur Studios in Venice, California, where he worked on various commercial projects and the annual Blur short A Gentlemen’s Duel. From there he went on to work for Nando Costa at Nervo. Throughout his career he has worked as a technical director for Bent creating various commercials and short films. He has created commercials for clients such as HP, Microsoft Zune, Pert, Bank of America, Fox Sports, and Adidas. Most recently he worked as a CG artist for the film Where the Wild Things Are.
MARIE SLAIGHT is the founder and director of Altaire Productions and Publications, a Sydney-based arts production company with roots in Montreal and New Orleans. She has worked in Montreal, Toronto, New Orleans, Buenos Aires and Sydney primarily as a writer, producer, and performer for independent film, theater and music and is an internationally published poet. She was co-owner and co-director of a visual and performance art gallery in Montreal, which hosted workshops and after hours jazz as well as performances and exhibits.