Katrina Documentary Gets Distribution in Wake of Gustav

Fortunately, Hurricane Gustav did not turn out to be another Katrina.

But as major storms go, it appears mild only by comparison. After Gustav, hundreds of thousands were without power; evacuated citizens struggled to get by in shelters; the sewers in New Orleans were nonfunctional; and other parts of Louisiana took significant hits. There is a series of additional storms lined up to wreak havoc in the Caribbean and southeastern United States.

Meanwhile, it is timely that Salon has a good story up on Trouble the Water, the stellar award-winning documentary on Hurricane Katrina from the point of view of two Ninth-Ward survivors, one of whom made some home video during the storm. It is great, great stuff.

My original review of the film is here. I saw an extended clip at a conference in February and blogged about it, after which I received a call from one of the film’s directors, Tia Lessin. Later, Tia was kind enough to invite me to a screening of the whole movie, which is really one of the best documentaries I’ve seen, and absolutely the best of the half-dozen or so Katrina movies I’ve seen. This is in part because of the streetwise charisma of the two main characters, and of course because of its message, here more implied than expounded.

The film recently began a commercial run in New York and Los Angeles, and is beginning to open elsewhere (September 26 in D.C., where I live). For more, including a two-minute trailer, visit my NRDC blog post from earlier this week.

Kaid Benfield is director for sustainable communities and smart growth at The Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC. He has his own blog on land development and community issues and enjoys contributing here, too, since there is so much common ground.


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