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The Big Uneasy

4.6 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The first documentary by New Orleans resident and longtime "mockumentarian" Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap; A Mighty Wind), The Big Uneasy follows three remarkable people - the leaders of two scientific investigation teams, and one whistle-blower - as they reveal the true story of why the city flooded, why it could happen again, and why other U.S. cities are at risk. It's the "news" the mainstream news media missed; an inside look at a disaster that could have been prevented from the people who were there. Critics have called it "A gripping, persuasive film. Essential Viewing" (The Los Angeles Times), "Poignant...indispensable" (The New York Times) and "A scathing indictment...an airtight case." (Village Voice).

Includes Bonus Features:
- Feature-Length Commentary by Director Harry Shearer
- Making The Big Uneasy Easy (Behind The Scenes)
- Post-Screening Q&A
- Harry Shearer's National Press Club Speech

This disc is expected to play in DVD Video "play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives.

When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Goodman
  • Directors: Harry Shearer
  • Writers: Harry Shearer
  • Producers: Karen Murphy, Christine O'Malley
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: FilmBuff
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2011
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005FSEQBG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,976 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul A. Harris on August 27, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Diary From The Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina

Having been a So. Calif. tourist stuck in the Superdome during Katrina and the levee failures I was most interested in seeing this documentary. I was fortunate to attend the screening in New Orleans and Harry was present for a Q & A. While not totally objective, as I was there during the debacle of this unnatural disaster and natural disaster, I still would have found this film as captivating and especially enlightening even if I had been safe at home.

While one may expect some humor with Harry making this movie, you won't find that in this film. What you will find is an eye opening discovery of the links between Congress, the Army Corps of Engineers, Subcontractors, and special interests whose interest are not your safety but rather building water projects that reward contributors, speed, cutting corners, and friends. You will discover the lack of accountability in these projects and the pain which those who are whistle-blowers have to endure to try and protect the 51% of us who live in counties "protected" by Army Corps' projects.

There are many myths surrounding Hurricane Katrina and the death and destruction in New Orleans. Unfortunately too many Americans still attribute that to Katrina the storm, when in fact it was the failed Army Corps of Engineers levees that couldn't survive a Category 3 storm, and the slow response by FEMA that led to most of the deaths and destruction in NOLA. After seeing this film you will be a believer.

Furthermore you will gain a better understanding of how money runs our political systems (in case you weren't already atune to this).
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Format: DVD
I wish that everyone would see this film. I am from New Orleans, and the devastation from Hurricane Katrina is beyond what most people can imagine. This film accurately tells the story of the continued ineptitude of the Army Corps of Engineers in regards to the city of New Orleans. It also shows how certain whistleblowers have been penalized for their honesty and integrity concerning the situation.

A lot of people don't understand why we New Orleanians blame the government for Katrina, since it was a "natural" disaster. You will get it after seeing The Big Uneasy.
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By AlBx on October 11, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Without some of the Hollywood fluff, this film should be required viewing in every Civics and Civil Engineering classroom in the U.S. Powerful and well done.
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Format: DVD
This movie has very convincingly outlined how the city happened to flood during Katrina. It wasn't because Katrina was such a bad storm but it was because so many safeguards to prevent the flooding failed. Mainly; levees that were supposed to protect the city (built by the Army Corps of Engineers. Its about Engineers who trie to find out why the city flooded; did find out why and when they tried to tell people, these same Engineers were treated as whistle blowers and some were relieved of their positions. All those people died because the safeguards that were put in place to protect them were inferior.
I don't know why people aren't more angry about this information !
I'm saying this badly but I wanted to review it anyway.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Don't look for any comedy from Harry Shearer or even John Goodman who does a few brief bits in sections of this film. This is a serious, well-researched documentary about the REAL reasons why new Orleans flooded so easily and quickly when Hurricane Katrina hit them in the summer of 2005, cuz the problem that caused the flood STILL EXISTS!

Spoiler Alert: I'm gonna tell you the main reason right now, cuz even people who don't see this worthy DVD need to know this. Half of New Orleans is ABOVE sea level, so that wasn't the reason. It's cuz the Army Corps of Engineers (*) did a shoddy job of building the flood control walls, putting them on lose sandy soil that the flood waters EASILY could erode UNDER the walls, which then allowed the walls to simply fall over and let all the water in. (* The Army Corps usually do good work; the awesome Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River in my part of America was VERY well built by them.) But the job was rushed in New Orleans and then swept under then table when several independent engineers tried to warn them that a flood would still happen, even when everybody was told by the Corps that the walls would hold back the water just fine.

The film is professionally produced with lots of animation and understandable illustrations of what is being talked about and Shearer paid attention to pacing to keep interest in the film crisp and to the point.
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I'm a native of the Gulf Crescent, familiar with New Orleans politics and the area. New Orleans was never one of my favorite places, but; it definitely had character and the flavor of the Gulf. What happened there, and has been happening to the people there since Katrina hit, is a travesty that the world has witnessed. This film brings to light only a few of the salient facts about the whole mess. Just get off your political soap box for a minute, and compare what has been done with and to the New Orleans Area with regard to Katrina - look to see where any real help has come from (private agencies, local volunteers, local businesses, and the like) - then compare what Japan has done since the devastating tsunami of March 11th. The contrast is stark and revealing.
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