In sync with innovative instincts they demonstrated in their first feature 45365, Bill and Turner Ross' TCHOUPITOULAS takes the term documentary to mean, primarily, the documenting of an experience—a distinct time and a place and the people that inhabit it. No interviews, no voiceover; just the evocation of an existence and the feelings it conjures.
Three young brothers take a secret sunset journey across a river to a pleasure island that's always been forbidden to them. As such, the narrative conceit of TCHOUPITOULAS is as timeless as a fairy tale. But through the eyes of our juvenile protagonists, we experience an impressionistic immersion into this beguiling kaleidoscope of dancers, musicians, hustlers, drag queens, and revelers that parade through the lamp-lit streets between Rampart and the river. While the kids can only glance at the glittery surface, the camera follows the melodies that emanate from these corridors to admit us to the cabarets, into the dark alleyways, next to the barflies, behind the curtains, and on the bandstand with the people who make this place their audience, their stage, their home.
The Rosses capture the fleeting moments of an enduring experience in one of the world's most unique cities.