Monday and Tuesday night, we watched Spike Lee’s new 4-hour documentary, When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts.
Originally intended to be two hours, Lee expanded the film into four, with each Act covering (roughly): Landfall, Flooding, Aftermath, and Recovery. Lee stays behind the camera, and the story plays out in first-person interviews and archival news footage.
If you weren’t angry before, you’ll be livid by the end of it….especially by the end of the final act, which shows that almost nothing has been done in the year since Katrina. They’re still finding bodies, Streets haven’t even been cleared of debris in some areas, FEMA is still a joke, and only 25% of the city’s population is back — the ones who were evacuated having been given one-way tickets to locations of FEMA’s choosing (regardless of where they had family).
Over and over again in the documentary people ask how does this happen in the world’s richest country? How does a government kill a city?
It’s absolutely chilling. Watch it.
The Media is sure to do year-after retrospectives as the month ends. They’ll probably talk about how “Katrina” did this to New Orleans….but the truth is that the city was wiped out by the Government. First, by the Army Corps of Engineers, who knowingly built sub-standard levees which didn’t hold (as has now been proven…quietly), and then by the Bush Administration which fiddled while the city drowned, and has done nothing since.