‘When the Levees Broke’: Spike Lee’s Tales From a Broken City
Stephen Holden in the new york times
A powerful chorus of witnesses and talking heads that cuts across racial and class lines was assembled for the four-hour film, to be shown tonight and tomorrow on HBO in two-hour blocks. Although seeds of hope are woven into this tapestry of rage, sorrow and disbelief, the inability of government at almost every level to act quickly and decisively leaves you aghast at what amounts to a collective failure of will.
The sights, familiar from television, are as shocking as ever: people stranded on rooftops waving signs pleading for help from passing helicopters and the thousands herded into the Superdome, which over several days turned into a giant, leaky sewer. Saddest of all are the personal stories of people who lost loved ones in the flood that inundated 80 percent of the city, leaving large sections looking like a bombed-out war zone. The sheer volume of suffering and misery chronicled by the film is crushing.
We hear horror stories of the ailing and elderly whose bodies were discovered by family members returning to their devastated homes. At the end of one chapter the film shows corpses, some covered, some not, left on the street to rot. (read entire article)