Week Six: When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006)

Title: When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

Tone: Incredibly powerful and significant documentary


Director-Spike Lee

Cast- The victims of Hurricane Katrina

When: 2006

What: A thorough examination of Hurricane Katrina and how the government responded.



  • What better way to kick off Black History Month than with one of the most important documentaries of the century, Spike Lee’s epic When the Levees Broke.


  • With his uniquely vivid style, incorporating news and amateur footage , interviewing survivors, news anchors, rescue workers, politicians, and backed with a beautiful score by Terrence Blanchard (a Katrina survivor), Spike Lee eloquently conveys the profound impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans.


  • One of the greatest tragedies of Hurricane Katrina was how it seemed that no one was listening to the victims cries for help, aid, or support. Through this documentary Spike Lee finally gave these survivors a much deserved place to be heard, their stories told, and their experiences documented.


  • One of the best aspects of When the Levees Broke is how in-depth it goes into the events before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. Being sure to include some levity in the midst of such a somber documentary, Spike Lee even talks with Kanye West and others about his “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” comment during a benefit concert for relief on NBC. Here is the excerpt below. Enjoy!



~ by cinematte on February 6, 2011.

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