By The River of Babylon

About This Episode


By the River of Babylon takes us into the unique culture and environment of South Louisiana below the Mississippi River: a habitat that gave rise to Cajun and Creole music, food, and culture, and one that is disappearing at an alarming rate.

With compelling footage and expert commentary from Bob Marshall, a New Orleans Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, among others, the film weaves this sad story into a fabric of famed but decaying dance halls and the musical habitat they represented.

Riveting archival performances by Zydeco heavyweights Clifton Chenier and Beau Jocque, and Cajun and Swamp Pop artists like Nathan Abshire and Tommy McLain, are juxtaposed by thorough and thoughtful explanations of the man-made triggers that may eventually drown the entire area: the seventy-year effort to levee and control the entire river by the corps of engineers, and the rapacious dredging of the swamps for commercial transportation and oil and gas exploration and pipelines. Louisiana, a major source of energy for the nation, is being destroyed bit by bit, and the region's eco-system and marshland subside further and further each and every year.

In addition to a deep and personal connection to the region, the filmmakers credit Mike Tidwell’s book, "Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast" as a major source of inspiration for making this filmic journey.