Chalmette Movies to premiere documentary about the Isleños

The documentary will play from November 3rd through 9th, showtimes are still being determined.

This documentary describes the fascinating history of the descendants of two thousand Canary Islanders who emigrated through the Atlantic Ocean to Louisiana in 1777 to reinforce the defenses of the Spanish colony and settled on the outskirts of New Orleans. The role of this community over US History overtakes manifestly its small size and shows us the power of different cultures in the construction of American identity.

Louisiana 1977. At the South of New Orleans, news of a surprising historical discovery is about to shock the locals from St. Bernard Parish, a quiet rural community who has lived united since its inception in 1778, sharing a foreign language and some unusual traditions. The County Historiographer discloses the discovery: Isleños from St. Bernard –as they call themselves– descend from 18th-century Spanish emigrants coming from the Canary Islands. A missing link to the Spanish History, hidden until now, makes a comeback.

News shakes the whole community. The dark years regarding the origin of this people vanish, building a bridge to the past of two nations.

This amazing adventure takes place two hundred years ago, when 2,500 Canary Islanders arrived in Louisiana to defend the lands of the Spanish Crown against the Englishmen; and continues nowadays, when we still find the Canary Islands traditions, language, cookery, and identity in this community, proud of its origins and immersed in a constant fight to prevent them from falling into the oblivion.

After the American Independence, the already US citizens played a key role in the War of 1812 against the English Army –the Battle of New Orleans is reproduced in this documentary with the participation of over 2,300 extras.

From then on, and supporting their new homeland, Isleños took part in all wars conducted by the US, from the American Civil War to the Iraq War and the Middle East conflicts. One of the Isleños who participates in this documentary, among others, attests it: Arnold Rodriguez, a combatant of the well-known 101st Airborne Division during the II World War, tells his role at the Normandy landings and the famous Siege of Bastogne.

The role of this community over US History overtakes manifestly its small size and shows us the power of different cultures in the construction of American identity.