For a interview with Spike about the film..here is the link.
I watched and I cried. I am a sap for real life drama..and this is it in spades. We all know about the horror that was Katrina..after she passed. We all know that people were dying in the dome five days after the hurricane went through. What this documentary does is give the people that survived it a forum..and a damn good one..the people that couldnt get out..even if they wanted to before she hit.
There is no voice over..the voices are all the people he has assembled to talk about it..it goes from two days before up until five days after Katrina passed through. Spike picked specific people to document the horror of the event..equally split between white and black. There is K.Blanco, the governor, Nagin, the mayor, CNN correspondant Soledad O'brien and then the ordinary people..a musican, an actor, and just every day ordinary citizens..some poor, some stubborn and refusing to leave. They document the beginning, the hurricane hit and the horror that unfolded after it passed. Some of them watched their loved ones die, some were in the Dome for those horror-filled days without food, water or bathrooms..some were stuck in their attics for days..the footage was graphic, its not for the faint of heart by any means..lots of dead bodies floating in the murky waters..people dead for days in wheelchairs outside the Dome..the one that made me come unglued was the radio guy..who stayed on the radio for five days straight..bringing the people the news they couldnt get since no one had power Spike covered the looting..by jerks and police officers..he talked to police officers that understood people were mostly trying to find food and water.. it was a day by day diary of what was happening..it was gripping and the two hours seem to fly by for me.
Like I said..there isn't a narrarator..the people involved did that. they took you step by step through the day by day horror that help wasn't coming...and then what they had to do to survive..how one man had to leave his mothers body in her wheel chair at the Dome to board a bus to get to something better than the hell on earth inside the Dome..and how it tore him to pieces. the stories will get to you if your human and have one ounce of compassion.
He covers the scewups very well..Bush of course isnt on camera talking..but his coy little impromptu press conferences are. There is also a dash of how politics affected the outcome..and it was more than was reported in the press. Nagel admits he didnt support Blanco's run for the governor office and how that played a part in her dealings with him and what he said was needed. There is the backroom deals on AirForce One wiith Nagle, Bush and Blanco..and how she refused to give over control to the Feds..which caused even more wasted time.He has people that were rich, poor and the inbetweens..all walks of life on this film..all with their own POV's..on what happened and why. The CNN footage is very telling..it shows the inadequacies of the Feds and their lack of obvious compassion for what was taking place down there. Chertoff and Brown come off very bad..as well they should. Blanco sounds defensive and Nagle just sounds like Nagle..a homie that admits he was in over his head.
The film also highlights those that went over and above the call of duty..the normal everyday people that risked life and limb to save neighbors and strangers..The National Guard commander demanding that police put down their guns..
The film covers areas that I never heard about in the MSM..like the fact that one parish put armed guards on a bridge to freedom, refusing to allow people of color to cross and get out of the horror..telling themm to turn around and go back or get shot. There is the story of a black man just walking down the street talking to a friend and was shot by a white man from his front porch who figured him for a looter..the paranoia was rampant after the first two days..people were desperate for water and no food was to be found.
The pictures will stay with me for a long time..the silent montages of dead people..dying people floating and laying on the side of roads..and little children suffering from heat, dehydration and no food for days on end. Soledad O'Brien's film from her walk through the convention after it had finallhy been emptied of people..she called it the stench of death that permeated the entire complex. She talked about the dead man that sat in a wheel chair just outside the entrance for days and days with soldiers just walking by his body like it wasn't there when it was so obvious that it was.She talked about her live interview with "Brownie" who had no clue about how many were at the Superdome or the condititon inside it, even though she told him how many there were, and he had no reaction, like it didn't matter. She confronted him on why his intel was so fucked up, and she knew more about what was going on down there than FEMA did. Still no response from Brownie..the people that were religious and tried to hold everyone together by singing gospel tunes to get them out of their anger at being abandoned by their government and left to suffer and in many cases die.
The second and last part is tomorrow night..see it if you can. We need to remember how America abandoned our own people when it only took two days to get supplies and help to the Sunami folks in Asia..how the news crews could get down there do their stories and get out while the governments..both local, state and Federal said they coulnd't get through...its enough to make you embarrassed to be an American..this the greatest of all disasters..how could our government, state and federal make excuses for their lack of action..all the while playing fucking politics behind the scenes..if it doesnt make you mad your either dead or not paying attentiion.
The music is wonderful..its old jazzz and blues..it fits right in..and the story ..isn't over you know..there is still no plan down there..no rebuilding..no nothing..its very much just like it was five days after Katrina..only the water has resided..and the bullshit and politics still continue while the people suffer..got don't you just love America?