When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts 1 Season 2006

Amazon Instant Video

Season 1
Available on Prime
(247) IMDb 7.6/10
Available on Prime

2. When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (Act 2) TV-14 CC

Act 2 of 4. Spike Lee's four-part HBO documentary event that recounts the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans in 2005.

Runtime:
1 hour 5 minutes
Original air date:
August 30, 2006

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (Act 2)

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Spike Lee
Network HBO
Producers Jacqueline Glover, Spike Lee, Sheila Nevins, Samuel D. Pollard, Butch Robinson
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

I am a white male from Milwaukee, and in my job I helped a few Katrina survivors get housing up here.
R. Gawlitta
Hopefully, others will show this to their children as well so that they can learn from these mistakes and make sure that something like this never happens again.
R. Legendre
This is part of what makes this documentary so powerful is you hear from people who lived it and are still living it.
Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01 on November 19, 2006
Format: DVD
I remember my mom saying you never know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes. This documentary achieves this goal - we walk a mile in the shoes of those who live in New Orleans just before, during and after hurricane Katrina. Particular attention is paid to the shameful five days after Katrina when our government did nothing to help the people of New Orleans who were stranded with no electricity, food or water.

I learned so much from this documentary about the spirit of New Orleans, the people that make up this unique place and how they were failed by local, state and federal government. It is astonishing. Spike Lee showed intense respect for the people of New Orleans, he did what he does best in the background completely hidden. He let the people speak for themselves and he made the correct choices. He let people of all income levels, races, and walks of life speak about what happened in intensely personal ways through the lenses of their own experiences. More importantly he let them speak in their own words including profanity, frustration, racial slurs, and raw emotion as well as through prayer, song and music and thoughtful criticism.

He also exposed the shameful inaction of the federal government. There were interviews with New Orleans Mayor Ray Naggin, the Louisiana Governor, Lt. Governor, former mayor, Al Sharpton, Harry Belafonte and many other local politicians. The most surprising and eloquent critique came from Al Sharpton.
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Format: DVD
This may seem like an absolutely ridiculous thing to say--but I wanted to approach "When The Levees Broke" with a totally open mind. While the flooding of New Orleans is easily one of the greatest disasters in American history, it is also one of the most politically charged subjects of recent years. While I've never found Spike Lee to be the most balanced of directors, I was curious to see how his epic documentary about the aftermath of Katrina would fare. I'm pleased to report that a concerted effort was made to include alternating viewpoints and perceptions. That's why I attempted to leave my own preconceived ideas on the doorstep--I wanted to judge this piece on its merit as opposed to its (or my) political agenda.

Basically, "Levees" is constructed in four episodes--each roughly an hour. Part 1 details the incoming storm and its initial impact on the area. Here we see rescue efforts amid the flooding and many harrowing images of people just trying to survive. Part 2 deals with the immediate aftermath, as the evacuees are staged throughout the city awaiting assistance. Here, we start to share in the real frustration of everyone that assistance is slow and, in some cases, nonexistent. Part 3 documents a period of time where the evacuees adjust--waiting for a chance to return to their homes and/or rejoin their families. And Part 4 comes as people start to return to the city--to the horrors and reality that all is lost. The latter parts continue to focus on opportunities missed by FEMA to care for the victims, the Corps of Engineers to adequately defend the city, and the insurance companies who failed to make good on their obligations.

But most of the criticism is left for the national government and, in particular, the Bush administration.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. L LaRegina on March 22, 2007
Format: DVD
Phyllis Montana LeBlanc for President! Or, at least Secretary of Keeping It Real. Ms. LeBlanc, a passionate and articulate victim of the 2005 New Orleans flood, is one of many Big Easy residents who appears in the Spike Lee mega-documentary film WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE. Her commentary proves to be one of many unforgettable aspects of this must-see work.

Of course, by calling New Orleans residents victims of the August 2005 floodwaters, I oversimplify. As WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE documents, for forty years responsible powers knew the New Orleans levees could not withstand the pressure of a hurricane such as Katrina but did nothing. The Bush administration and F.E.M.A., who knew what was going to happen days in advance of the hurricane, did nothing. And when the storm subsided and people needed rescue, food, and water, the Bush gang and F.E.M.A. dragged their feet, allowing preventable death and misery for several days before acting.

WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE cuts no corners telling its story. About the only lowlight of those tragic summer 2005 days it misses is Laura Bush's telling comment, where she referred to the storm as "Hurricane Corrina" at least twice in the same interview.

While the illegal, immoral war in Iraq got most of the credit for the fall of the Republicans in the 2006 elections, the federal government's willful disregard for New Orleans had to be on voters' minds, too. As I write this in March 2007, Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco has announced she will not seek re-election because of low poll numbers, so it seems the people are repaying Republican Lite Democrats such as Ms. Blanco, too. WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE closes with the Fats Domino song, "Walking To New Orleans." Another Fats Domino song, "So Long," speaks to the responsible public office holders who knew what could happen but turned a blind eye. May they get theirs.

See WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE.
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