Monday, August 30, 2010

Movies! When the Levees Broke

On the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast, I want to take a second here to talk about When the Levees Broke from 2006. I wrote a few weeks back about a couple of Spike Lee's movies, but I have to say that this documentary is his masterpiece. It's not an easy watch, but it's so beautifully shot and edited, and captures the enormous tragedy of this event perfectly.
The film consists mainly of news footage, still photos and interviews with the residents of Louisana and Mississippi who were effected by the storm and resulting flood. Spike Lee shows you the reality of what this storm and the failures of both the levees themselves and the government afterward did to the people of this area. It's an incredibly emotional work of history and of art, and the characters you meet along the way will stick with you.
Five years later, and we have mostly forgotten this disaster, the lives lost, and the people still impacted by what happened. I visited New Orleans a few years before the storm, and it struck me as a place full of magic, music and history, one of my favorite cities I have ever wandered. It doesn't get much better than this documentary, but make sure you have some tissues. You'll need them from beginning to end.


  1. I've never heard of this. I will put it on my list of must sees!

  2. Yep, I saw he was in New Orleans recently making a docu about the effect of the oil spill on that same area. They have had a terrible time of it. I need to be brave and stop putting off watching this. Thanks for the reminder, Laura.

    Have a lovely day, T. :)

  3. I'll need to watch this documentary. It breaks my heart to see how New Orleans still looks years later!