When the Levees Broke: a Requiem in Four Acts

    • Spike Lee
    • United States
    • 2006
    • 240 min
    • Masters
    The entire world saw the devastation that Hurricane Katrina wrought in New Orleans in late August 2005. As a result of the force of the hurricane, the levees of the Mississippi broke and the city was largely inundated. The tardy, inadequate and insensitive reactions from emergency services and government bodies only aggravated the personal sorrow that this natural disaster caused. Three months after Katrina, director Spike Lee, known for feature films such as Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever and 25th Hour, went to New Orleans and captured a modern American tragedy. Every act of When the Levees Broke addresses a different aspect of the events leading up to and following Katrina. For his film, Lee spoke with a large number of people from all walks of life: from Mayor Ray Nagin to former residents of New Orleans, civil rights activist Al Sharpton, a CNN reporter and musicians like Wynton Marsalis and Kanye West. Lee alternates the images of the deserted and devastated city, to which only a fraction of the original inhabitants have returned, with colourful traditional funerals: musical parades in which people mourn the dead before celebrating life.

    Credits

    • 240 min
    • color
    • video
    • Spoken languages: English
    Director
    Spike Lee
    Production
    40 Acres & a Mule Filmworks Inc.
    Cinematography
    Cliff Charles
    Editing
    Sam Pollard, Geeta Gandbhir, Nancy Novack
    Music
    Terrance Blanchard

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