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New Orleans filmmaker to present
Boggs: Steel and Velvet'
March 20, 2007 --
New Orleans filmmaker Bess Carrick will
present her recently released one-hour documentary film, “Lindy Boggs:
Steel and Velvet” on Wednesday, March 28, at 1-2 p.m. in the Student
Union Auditorium at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro. Carrick will
hold a question-and-answer session after the film. She will also address
what it is now like to live and work in the Gulf Coast region in
post-Katrina conditions. The screening of “Lindy Boggs:
Steel and Velvet,” and the question-and-answer session with filmmaker
Bess Carrick are sponsored by ASU’s Department of History and Phi Alpha
Theta, ASU’s chapter of the national history honors society. The film
and q-and-a are free and open to the public.
“Lindy Boggs: Steel and Velvet” tells the story of the former Louisiana
ambassador to the Vatican. By any standards, Corinne Claiborne “Lindy”
Boggs has had a remarkable life and a remarkable career. The wife of
former House Majority Leader Hale Boggs and mother of three, Lindy Boggs
took over her husband’s congressional seat when the small plane he was
traveling in disappeared over the mountains of Alaska in 1972. After
winning a special election to fill the seat, the Pointe Coupee Parish
native became the first Louisiana woman elected to Congress. She served
nine terms in Congress with seats on the powerful House Appropriations
Committee and the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families.
During her tenure, Mrs. Boggs spearheaded legislation on everything from
civil rights to equal pay for women. She also helped to found the
Women’s Congressional Caucus. Mrs. Boggs still holds the distinction of
being the only woman with a room named for her in the U.S. Capitol
tenaciousness in getting legislation through Congress was legendary.
Former Louisiana senator J. Bennett Johnson compared dealing with Mrs.
Boggs to Chinese water torture because of her persistant, persuasive,
and effective methods.
While in Congress, Mrs. Boggs was the first woman to chair the
Democratic National Convention and the first woman to serve as a regent
on the Smithsonian Institution board. She also presided over the
Bicentennial of the American Constitution in 1987, as well as the
commission commemorating the 200th anniversary of Congress.
After ending her congressional career, Mrs. Boggs, a devout Catholic,
was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See in Vatican City by
President Bill Clinton, and she served in that post from 1997-2001.
The political legacy of the Boggs family has grown over the years.
Daughter Cokie Roberts and her husband Steve Roberts write a syndicated
political column. Cokie Roberts is a Washington correspondent for
National Public Radio and ABC. Thomas Hale Boggs Jr. is a successful
Washington attorney and lobbyist. The late Barbara Boggs Sigmund was
mayor of Princeton, N. J. before her death from cancer in 1990.
Rebecca Roberts, daughter of Cokie and Steve Roberts, is the narrator
for “Lindy Boggs: Steel and Velvet.” Rebecca Roberts hosts a daily local
talk show in
Washington, and for four years was the technology correspondent for “The
World,” a co-production of the BBC, PRI, and WGBH. She also hosted the
Emmy-nominated public television program “Springboard,” from KQED-TV,
San Francisco. Roberts has a bachelor’s degree in politics from
Princeton University and lives in Bethesda, Md., with her husband and
Boggs: Steel and Velvet” editor Dawn Logsdon has been editing
documentaries for 15 years. Her work includes the Oscar-nominated “The
Weather Underground” and the Sundance Festival-winning documentary
“Paragraph 175.” Mike Esneault, who scored Louisiana Public
Broadcasting’s award-winning six-part series “Louisiana: A History,”
provided the score for the documentary. He has also collaborated with
Terence Blanchard on scores for a number of director Spike Lee’s movies.
Boggs: Steel and Velvet” producer Bess Carrick is best known for
and co-directing “Backlash: Race and the American Dream,” a look at
David Duke’s run for the U.S. Senate and the white backlash movement it
spawned. She has also worked with Emmy Award winner Bill Moyers,
Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Channel, among others, on
television projects. Since Hurricane Katrina, she has worked on numerous
film projects, for international and national network distribution,
about the storm and its aftermath. Carrick lives in New Orleans and owns
Retreat, near Natchez, Mississippi.
When asked why she became a filmmaker, Carrick says wryly, “I believe I
am a good storyteller, and I decided to choose the most expensive medium
available to tell stories in.”
Carrick made her first film in 1978, and received formal training in
film at the University of Memphis. “So much of film is instinct,” she
says. “As a filmmaker, you have to do a story where you can find visual
images; if not, you write a magazine article.”
Carrick also notes, “I seem to have an
interest in politics, and in characters spanning eras of drama and
controversy. I notice I am drawn to people with unpopular opinions,
David Duke, certainly, but Mr. and Mrs. Boggs, too. They were ostracized
for their opinions, on race, particularly. It was painful for Mrs.
Boggs, and it made it difficult for her in political life and in social
life. She felt so many people didn’t understand.”
For more information, contact the Department of History at (870)
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