Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke: Out on DVD

A four hour miniseries produced by HBO and directed by Spike Lee, When The Levees Broke chronicles the devastation of New Orleans, an event considered by many African Americans to be “black America’s 9/11”.
Lee drives the point home that the destruction of New Orleans was not primarily a result of Hurricane Katrina, but rather of government negligence. The levee system that protected the primarily poor and black residents of New Orleans had been badly designed by the Army Corps of Engineers and further weakened by lack of maintenance by the state. The stage was set for a catastrophy, the government knew it, but did nothing to prevent it.
Once the levees failed, residents had to battle not only the floodwaters, but also government indifference. People quickly realised that the rich and powerful really didn’t care if they lived or died. In emotionally powerful inverviews and archival footage, Spike Lee captures the fear, despair, and determination of the people of New Orleans. Despite the failures of the state, the working people remain committed to surviving and rebuilding.