SAVE OUR SOULS EXPLORES THE EVERYDAY LIVES AND LAUNCHES THE CAREERS OF A GROUP OF REMARKABLE AND SPIRITED PERFORMERS REVIVING NEO-BURLESQUE IN POST-KATRINA NOLA IN MIKE SANCHEZ’S DEBUT DOCUMENTARY
Mike Sanchez spent four years traveling to and from New Orleans (nearly 36,000 miles in total) to film his debut documentary, SAVE OUR SOULS. He had been spell-bound by the revival-style performances of the Slow Burn Burlesque troupe, led by the sinfully talented Nona Narcisse and her co-producer Ben Wisdom, who uses his pulpit-ready vocal presence to work the crowd as the troupe’s resident emcee. Each member of the Slow Burn cast had been drawn to New Orleans and opened up to Sanchez’s camera about their history, their day-to-day lives, and how they’ve been redeemed by the neo-burlesque movement.
The real life stories from the Slow Burn troupe are uplifting and redemptive; from Nona’s escape from an attempted assault to Bella Blue’s raising a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. Stage manager Sebastian Tchoupitoulas Rey talks about his life as a transsexual male. The Lady Lucerne talks openly about her bisexuality and why she chose to study law. Ruby Rage shares her own story of being abandoned by her mother to being a teenage beauty queen. The one common thread among them is their love of performing and the freedom they find in burlesque.
Filled with rousing performance footage, SAVE OUR SOULS, makes use of an incredible soundtrack that includes Russian folk music from New Orleans’ own Debauche, a regular Slow Burn collaborator, and high-octane rock ’n roll from The Yelling, whose guitarist Robert Davis also acted as the film’s music supervisor. Sanchez is also featured on the soundtrack; a musician as well as a filmmaker, he composed the instrumental score for the documentary. The film’s end credits make use of the original song, “Save Our Souls,” written and performed by Revis, another project from Davis, the video for which was also directed by Sanchez.
SAVE OUE SOULS has been nominated for Best Short (under 90 minutes) Documentary at the Madrid Film Festival and will be released this summer on PreScreen.com.