There is hardly more than forty years that the outside world became aware of the existence of a French speaking minority living in the Louisiana bayous. Chased away from Canada by the British during the18th century, the Acadians have succeeded in maintaining an archaic rural French language and most of all have invented a unique form of popular music owing a lot to the Black Creole community living alongside them.
Americanized after the the French language was banned into their schools, the Acadians became known as Cajuns but nonetheless managed to maintain their cultural identity thanks mostly to their music (and also to their food). Clifton Chenier and the Balfa Brothers in the past, Zachary Richard today, have been the most prominent musicians to come out of this decidedly different American community.
In the begining of the '70's I was living in New-York City where I had a few chance meetings with some Cajuns. Intrigued, I decided to take a trip down into the bayous to see what was left of this fascinating culture. And disappointed, I was not ! I became friend with Will , Rodney & Dewey Balfa and also Clifton Chenier and they all introduced me to other musicians like Nathan Abshire, Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin and Canray Fontenot. I was soon convinced that I had an original subject for a documentary. I recruited a film crew in New York and came back to Louisiana during Mardi Gras 1972.
The shooting lasted ten days and took place mostly in Mamou, a village located in the heart of the Cajun prairie that always was musically very active and less prone to the forces of americanization. It was then the "Golden Age" of Cajun Music and I had the incredible luck to be able to film its most legendary musicians, all passed away now (with the exception of "Bois Sec" Ardoin still alive in 2007 and over 90 years old).
Director: Jean-Pierre Bruneau | bio
"Dedans le Sud de la Louisiane" was the first film made by the French director Jean-Pierre Bruneau who came back twenty years later in Acadiana to shoot "Louisiana Blues", another classic.
He has made several documentaries dealing with jazz and world music notably for the European TV channel Arte
Director of Photography: Paul Goldsmith
Sound Mixer: Petur Hliddal
Producer: Marie-Thérèse Delboulbès
"Outstanding movie of the year"London Film Festival 1974
"The first film to consider the music in terms of the culture rather than the culture in terms of the music. In 1972 the original giants of Creole and Cajun music were still with us, and playing music that was local and functional, not yet either a bayou tourist attraction or part of the club mix from Twickhenham to Tokyo. As such it was a deeper, fiercer music than is often heard today. A memorable experience, both musically and visually." (Chris Smith, Blues n' Rhythm) "Inside South Louisiana" is a documentary film classic shot in 1972 by Jean-Pierre Bruneau during the golden age of Cajun and Creole Music. Featured on this film are musicians Nathan Abshire, Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin, The Balfa Brothers, Clifton Chenier, Ed & Bee Deshotels, Bee Fontenot, Canray Fontenot, Adam & Cyprien Landreneau, Dennis McGee, Sady Courville and Revon Reed. Recorded in French with English subtitles. DVD, 1974, 45 minute