New Films Document Devastation, Hope In Aftermath Of Joplin Tornado | St. Louis Public Radio

New Films Document Devastation, Hope In Aftermath Of Joplin Tornado

Nov 15, 2012

The EF-5 tornado in Joplin, Missouri in May 2011 killed 161 people and a left city and its residents devastated.

Two filmmakers - Beth Pike and Erica Tremblay - have created films documenting the disaster, the fallout, and what they call a “remarkable recovery.”

Host Don Marsh talked with Pike and Tremblay as well as Joplin Globe reporter Wally Kennedy to discuss “Deadline in Disaster” and “Heartland: A Portrait of Survival.” Both films open at the St. Louis International Film Festival tonight.

Pike’s film “Deadline in Disaster” chronicles the events at the Joplin Globe, a community newspaper that continued publishing during the disaster.

“Our approach was to mainly put a face on what community newspapers do all across this country... our mission was mainly just to see what goes on at a community newspaper, to [show] that these writers are very connected to a community. They're everyday people, and they’re heroes too. In times of tragedy like this they’re there to help out,” Pike said.

All three guests say Joplin has made substantial progress in rebuilding.  Thousands of volunteers came to the city to assist with the clean-up.  But Tremblay, a Joplin native who now lives in Los Angeles, says the emotional scars remain.

“[Making “Heartland] turned out to be a great experience just for myself to heal. We got to go back a year after to show the film, and it seemed to be cathartic, almost like a therapy session,” Tremblay said.

Both directors and Kennedy will attend the 6:30 p.m. screening tonight at Plaza Frontenac Cinema.

Related Event

2012 St. Louis International Film Festival Presents "Deadline in Disaster" and "Heartland: A Portrait of Survival"
Thursday, November 15, 2012
6:30 p.m.
Plaza Frontenac Cinema
(314) 289-4150

With assistance from Ariana Tobin