A new documentary set to premiere June 8 captures the community of Ironton’s struggles against racism, industrial encroachment and extreme weather. Located in Plaquemines Parish, Ironton traces its history back to emancipation, with many of the community’s founders having once been enslaved at nearby St. Rosalie Plantation. Their descendants have remained in the area, maintaining a community despite decades of racial segregation and economic injustice.
Directed by filmmaker John Richie and produced by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, “Iron Sharpens Iron” chronicles Ironton’s fight against the development of the Plaquemines Liquids Terminal (PLT) atop their ancestral burial grounds, as well as the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ida. Every structure in the community, which is outside of the levee protection system, was damaged in the storm.
The LEH will host a premiere event at The Broad Theater, 636 N Broad St. in New Orleans, on Wednesday, June 8, at 7 p.m. The event will feature a screening of the film, which runs 27 minutes, followed by a panel discussion about the challenges faced by communities like Ironton across south Louisiana. The event is open to the public, and tickets are $12, with all proceeds benefiting the community of Ironton. Tickets will be available for purchase at thebroadtheater.com.
The film is part of the LEH initiative “Coastal Impacts: An Integrated Approach for Community Adaptation, Understanding and Planning,” which assists local communities in building intergenerational coastal literacy through community conversations around books, film and exhibitions, fostering greater understanding of and support for coastal restoration projects.