Mr. Okra Goes from the Streets to the Screen


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You may have seen him chugging along New Orleans streets in his battered but colorfully decorated pickup. You've probably heard his gravely call ringing out through the truck's PA system. And you might even have eaten the fruit and vegetables he delivers to the doors of homes and businesses around the city.

Soon, you may also be able to see him on the big screen.

“Mr. Okra,” the itinerant New Orleans produce vendor, is the subject and name of a new documentary film from executive producer Andre Jones and director T.G. Herrington. In June, the documentary won the Audience Choice award at the NYC Food Film Festival.

The film follows Mr. Okra – a.k.a. Arthur Robinson – around town as he sells his goods and holds forth on his life and experiences around the city. Here's part of the film description:

Beyond the clichés of Bourbon Street, amid the decadence and decay of one of America’s most unique cities, Mr. Okra is a character from another time. His is an analog world, in a digital age.

This is an intimate look at one of New Orleans’ most colorful characters, one of the characters that makes New Orleans such a special place… Mr. Okra is a glimpse into the soul of an American city.

Perry says he's working on dates to screen the film in New Orleans, so check back for updates. Meanwhile, here's the trailer.

--Ian McNulty

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