Documentary tribute to jazz funerals, ‘City of a Million Dreams,’ to make commercial debut at The Broad – Mid-City Messenger
After a critically acclaimed film festival run, local author Jason Berry’s celebratory love letter to New Orleans, “City of a Million Dreams,” will receive a long-awaited commercial release in the city beginning June 17 at The Broad.
Through vintage photos and archival footage, historical re-creations and filming of modern-day jazz funerals, the documentary traces the evolution of the tradition — and the city — from the late 18th century to today, from the African rhythms and ring dances of Congo Square, European marching bands, Sicilian brass bands and early 20th-century jazz musicians to the stunning memory pageants today.
Equal parts joyous and mournful, “City of a Million Dreams” takes a deep look at New Orleans history through jazz funerals, introducing viewers to a beautiful mosaic that is part of African American history while exploring the rich intersections that music and remembrance have across all cultural lines.
Director Jason Berry imbues his film with well-researched history and pulsating, often hypnotic parade sequences. The documentary is an extension of Berry’s book of the same name.
Of the release, Berry said in a press release: “We’re delighted that “City of a Million Dreams” will be shown at the Broad Theater in New Orleans, an anchor of the city’s film culture.”
Director Jason Berry and special guests will be in attendance at The Broad for select screenings. Copies of his “City of a Million Dreams” will also be on sale.