When the Levees Broke
A Requiem in Four Acts
First screened in January 2007
Director: Spike Lee. TV Movie. Documentary. Chronicles the devastating aftermath of the flooding of New Orleans in August 2005, after the levees surrounding the city failed to withstand the wind and rain of Hurricane Katrina. Interview subjects include Shelton Shakespear Alexander, Robert Bea, Harry Belafonte, Terence Blanchard, Kathleen Blanco, Douglas Brinkley, Will Chittenden, Emil Dusmenil, Michael Eric Dyson, Tanya Harris, Fred Johnson, Mitch Landrieu, Phyllis Montana Leblanc, Cheryl Livaudais, Wynton Marsalis, Audrey Mason, Gina Montana, Henry Morgan, Judith Morgan, Jocelyn Moses, Ray Nagin, Soledad O'Brien, Sean Penn, Wendell Pierce, Robert Rocque, Daina Saulny, and Michael Seelig.

Twitter Capsule: Typically of Lee, it's overlong and uneven—but when has he had better reason? A furious, priceless document.

VOR:   Indispensable, multifaceted record, enraged but credible, of the scariest public event of my lifetime. Forget outside enemies: our own government may not invest in our survival.

Photo © 2006 HBO Films/40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks

Not yet reviewed in full. Grade: B+

Emmy Award Nominations and Winners:
Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking
Best Director (Nonfiction): Spike Lee
Best Cinematography (Nonfiction): Cliff Charles
Best Film Editing (Nonfiction): Geeta Gandbhir & Nancy Novack
Best Sound Mixing (Nonfiction): Ken Ishii, Stuart Deutsch, Charles R. Hunt, Bo Walker, Bob Chefalas, and Douglas Murray
Best Sound Editing (Nonfiction): Fred Rosenberg, Allan Zaleski, Marko A. Costanzo, and Marvin R. Morris

Other Awards:
Venice Film Festival: FIPRESCI Prize (Parallel Sections); Venice Horizons Documentary Award; Human Rights Film Network Award

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