Watch the trailer: Getting Back to Abnormal premieres Monday, July 14, 2014, at 10 PM on PBS stations. (Check local listings.) Watch the program online for free from July 15 to August 12, 2014.

What happens when America’s most joyous, dysfunctional city rebuilds itself after a disaster? New Orleans is the setting for Getting Back to Abnormal, a film that serves up a provocative mix of race, corruption and politics to tell the story of the re-election campaign of Stacy Head, a white woman in a city council seat traditionally held by a black representative. Supported by her irrepressible African-American aide Barbara Lacen-Keller, Head polarizes the city as her candidacy threatens to diminish the power and influence of its black citizens. Featuring a cast of characters as colorful as the city itself, the film presents a New Orleans that outsiders rarely see. Official Selection of the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS.

“In Getting Back to Abnormal, we’ve tried to give the viewer a different, more intimate perspective of what it’s like to be in one of the few truly unique places left in America,” say filmmakers Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker, Peter Odabashian and Paul Stekler. “We knew at the outset that we wanted to make a film that captured at least a healthy morsel of the essence of the place & what we knew as intimate participants when we lived there, and what we saw as educated observers after we left. We felt that too many post-Katrina documentaries settled for presenting overly simplistic narratives that didn’t recognize the complexity that has always been part of the city’s DNA.”

After the broadcast, visit the Getting Back to Abnormal companion site to…

  • Watch the full film online for free for a limited time following the broadcast (July 15, 2014, to August 12, 2014)
  • Ask ask the filmmakers live on Google+ on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 (the day after broadcast) from 12:30 to 1:15 PM ET (9:30-10:15 AM PT)
  • Learn from the filmmakers in an extended interview
  • Read filmmaker Paul Stekler’s history of documentary film in New Orleans and his searchable list of essentialdocumentaries about New Orleans
  • Download a discussion guide and other viewing resources
  • Find out what’s happened since the cameras stopped rolling
  • Watch hilarious and provocative clips from the archives of the filmmakers

“Refreshingly frank, often moving stories . . . illuminate the chasm that yawns between the races in New Orleans — and the bridges that sometimes span that gap.” — Elise Nakhnikian, Slant Magazine

And watch Getting Back to Abnormal on your TV or laptop and enter for a chance to win the DVD and film poster, plus popcorn, chocolate, coffee and more! Enter now at, and share your thoughts using the hashtag #gettingbacktoabnormal.

Getting Back to Abnormal premieres Monday, July 14, 2014, at 10 PM on PBS stations. (Check local listings.)

For updates on POV’s 2014 season, subscribe to POV’s documentary blog, like POV on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @povdocs.

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POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.