Dry Land’s misfits find purpose and direction twenty-eight days at a time as the steady hands of a towboat due for the port of New Orleans.
A towboat drifts down the Mississippi River, due for the port of New Orleans. The water, the banks, the bright lights of a port ahead; the lure of a coming paycheck and a home-cooked meal. This is the world of BARGE. On board, dry land’s misfits find purpose and direction twenty-eight days at a time as teh steady hands of an industrial ecosystem teeming with line boats, fleet boats, and a few million tons of cargo moved each year. A green deckhand following his father and grandmother into the family business. A former convict working his way upward job by job, in the hopes of being First Mate. A thirty-eight year veteran engineer in no hurry to retire. An ancient waterway pulling a double shift as the backbone of a national economy; a tangle of thick steel cables, tied together just right. As long as the boat’s moving, they’re making money. An intimate portrait of the machinery of American ambitions.
Directors Statement: So powerful is their contribution, we deem it inevitable. From the dry side of the levee, it is easier to forget the cooks, captains, engineers, and deckhands that amke this river hum.
Men and women defined by the water running underneath, and the incalculable ingenuity and perserverance required to master this great force of nature.
The grain carried from Rosedale to the Port of New Orleans on a Mississippi towboat does not belong to its crew – but it is their ongoing mission to bring this grain where it is most wanted.
Likewise, these are not my stories to tell. These stories are told by men working the towbats, the Mary Parker and the Napoleon. Pride, passion, scars. A sense of humor. This is how these stories are told. This is how I deliver them to port.