When the Levees Broke (2003)

Reid, 26. December 2007, 0:17

Dir. Spike Lee
4/10

This is the documentary about the damage of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans. Using primarilyanecdotes from residents who lived through the event, Lee captures what it was like on the ground. There are some compelling stories, but, personally, what I was looking for was an explanation (or at least at a serious attempt) to answer why the levees were not made stronger and why the response to help victims were so slow. He barely scratches the surface of these questions in the video.

Lee throws out the race explanation, but I wish he would have explored other possible explanations like incompetance of the government, particularly with the way administrative structure of Homeland Security could have caused delays.

There’s also a point in the film where interviewees criticize Barbara Bush for some of the comments she made–something about some of the New Orleanians liking staying in Houston because they had more than they ever had before or something to that effect. However, later some of the interviewees seem to confirm that statement when they talk about the issue of people wanting to return. I believe at least one person comments that they have better opportunities and conditions elsewhere. I don’t know if Lee intentionally put this in to give balance or not.

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