On April 27, 2011, a powerful storm system unleashed a deadly series of tornadoes across central Alabama that devastated several cities. The largest tornado, which was categorized an F4, ripped through the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, area with winds up to 260 miles per hour, traveling over a distance of 80 miles, with a path of destruction up to 1.5 miles wide. When it was over, the tornado had killed 64 people and injured more than 1,500.
Alabama-based documentary filmmaker and teacher Andrew Beck Grace survived the storm, and as he discovered in the days to come, numbers and adjectives — even images — only go so far in describing what it means to wake up to your world completely rearranged.
Grace has produced a unique interactive documentary about the aftermath in Tuscaloosa called After the Storm. It tells the story of what happens after the storm passes, after the media leaves town, and after the adrenaline subsides. Independent Lens is proud to co-present this interactive documentary with The Washington Post, launching today (April 27) on the 4th anniversary of the storm.
After you immerse yourself in After the Storm, read the following interview we conducted with Grace about producing this unique work, one which hit very close to home. Continue reading