Customer Review

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spike Lee: NOT A RACIST!, January 30, 2007
This review is from: When the Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts (DVD)
I've heard this criticism of Spike before this and I have never understood where it has come from. I guess if you spend your life and career documenting lives and creating stories about people that society has left behind, and if a large portion of those depicted have been black, I guess you get called a "racist!" Spike does see racism everywhere but let me ask you this: what black man of his age, who grew up where he grew up, doesn't have some of those tinges simply from being burned by the system? Every writer pours some of himself into everything he does, fictional or not.

I watched Hurricane Katrina and the various reports on CNN and other news outlets with a dull horror thinking about a National Geographic doc I had seen in 97 or 98 about hurricanes and tornados. They predicted, especially a through a chilling and prophetic artist's conception, exactly what happened in New Orleans in 05. An weather offical (I can't remember his offical post) said the levee's were a "two edged sword." If the water ever went over them, the water would get as deep as the levee's are tall. That's exactly what happened. As Spike points out in his excellent commentary that's like, as the best commentaries are, having a second movie included, that's what caused the destruction. Hurricane Katrina side-swiped New Orleans.

Through stunning interviews with most of the prinicipals involved with this tragedy, from Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco to Shelton "Shakespeare" Alexander and Wynton Marsalis, he cuts to the main human tragedy at the heart of the story. There are more black people in this doc than white people but hey, that's the majority of the people that got screwed by their government, from all sources except for the Coast Guard. There's enough historical information to answer questions and it's long enough (FOUR HOURS!) to give enough time to everybody to say their peace.

My favorite moments include Soledad O'Brien's "interorgation" of Michael Brown that shows what happens when reporters have the guts to ask tough questions and see through the lies and the avoidance that politicians always do when their backed into a corner by the truth. The analysis of the levee's and the warnings that were basically ignored by President Bush the day before the storm.

Spike's commentary is funny as well as insightful to his filmaking process. He proved to me that he wasn't racist when he says things like, "George Bush doesn't care about poor white people either." over footage of two white women talking in front of one of there torn down houses. He praises the two white guys who told Dick Cheney to go **** himself in Misissippi as well as the white lady who told Condie Rice "How dare you!" while she was shopping for shoes the day after the storm.

This documentary does what all good documentaries do. They answer questions while raising more while at the same time raising your awareness above and beyond where it was before.

Bravo Spike!!

By the way, the single largest death toll from a hurricane was in Galveston, Texas in 1900. The death toll from that was over 6,000 from a total population in the town from a little over 37,000! That is the greatest natural disaster in US history. Check out "Isaac's Storm" for more info.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 14, 2012 7:21:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 14, 2012 7:21:54 AM PDT
"I've heard this criticism of Spike before this and I have never understood where it has come from. I guess if you spend your life and career documenting lives and creating stories about people that society has left behind, and if a large portion of those depicted have been black, I guess you get called a "racist!" Spike does see racism everywhere but let me ask you this: what black man of his age, who grew up where he grew up, doesn't have some of those tinges simply from being burned by the system? Every writer pours some of himself into everything he does, fictional or not."

Spike Lee, like most black men "his age, who grew up where he grew up," has known nothing but racial privilege.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

4.6 out of 5 stars (247 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (195)
4 star:
 (27)
3 star:
 (10)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (9)
 
 
 
$19.98 $11.80
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,505,809