Sawfish and New Orleans
click image to view in Flash | Quicktime | MPEG-2
Our short hiatus ended up being a bit longer than anticipated, but Lost in Light is back in action. In this second year of the project, we are striving to present films in their original form as much possible, so we’ve decided to present silent films as silent, without our editorial addition of music, and with minimal editing on our part. We return with this wonderful film from the early 1950s U.S. Gulf Coast.Susan S., one of the children in the film, provides this background:
My parents were living around the Gulf Coast area-Galveston, Texas City, Sabine. I think that the sawfish is on the beach in Galveston. I remember my Dad telling us about the things that the fishing boats would drag up that was caught in their nets. Anytime it was something big , a crowd would be gathered around taking pictures. Once it was a huge whale that had beached itself. I am the topless brunette so it’s about 1951. Mother is the beauty getting into the car. About New Orleans, Mother doesn’t remember but I think there are some things in the film that you can’t see in New Orleans anymore – will need to do a little research!
If you have observations about parts of New Orleans depicted in this film that don’t exist anymore, please leave them in the comments. Certainly the city has changed overwhelmingly since this film was taken – makes me appreciate films like this all the more.
Interestingly, sawfish are now an endangered species and international trade is banned.
As always, a complete, high-resolution version of this film is available for download at the Internet Archive. Click “MPEG-2” above for the link.