Hollow Tree follows three teenagers coming of age in their sinking homeland of Louisiana. For the first time, they notice the Mississippi River’s engineering, stumps of cypress trees, and billowing smokestacks. Their different perspectives — as Indigenous, white, and Angolan young women — shape their story of the climate crisis.
This film invites three young women, who did not previously know each other, to learn with me and my filmmaking team, and their respective communities. They travel to different sites along the Mississippi River, where they engage in dialogue with engineers, activists, and Indigenous leaders. The idea was to use filmmaking as a classroom, and to develop a documentary practice for the climate crisis. As I encourage the young people in my film to notice their surroundings, they begin to imagine Louisiana's past — its history of slavery, Indigenous dispossession, and colonization — and, by extension, Louisiana's future. The one that they will experience and help to shape.