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Spike Lee documentary: "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts"

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 11:52 PM
Original message
Spike Lee documentary: "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts"
Edited on Wed Aug-02-06 11:56 PM by DeepModem Mom
Spike Lee on Hurricane Katrina
By FELICIA R. LEE
Published: August 3, 2006


(David Lee/HBO)
The trumpeter Terence Blanchard is featured in When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, for which he also composed the score.

NEW ORLEANS From the beginning Spike Lee knew that Hurricane Katrina was a story he had to tell. Watching the first television images of floating bodies and of desperate people, mostly black, stranded on rooftops, he quickly realized he was witnessing a major historical moment. As those moments kept coming, he spent almost a year capturing the hurricanes sorrowful consequences for a four-hour documentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, to be shown on HBO this month.

The film, which Mr. Lee directed and produced, comes 20 years after the August 1986 debut of his first hit, Shes Gotta Have It, about Nola Darling, a Brooklyn graphic artist, and her three lovers. The provocative films that followed (Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, among others), with their searing cultural critiques, cemented Mr. Lees reputation as his generations pioneering black filmmaker. This year he had a commercial and critical success with Inside Man, about a bank heist.

Like him or not, Mr. Lee, 49, is an artist many people feel they know. People, black and white, approached him and the Levees crew here, he said, imploring: Tell the story. Tell the story. It becomes like an obligation we have, he said.

Mr. Lees reputation helped get his camera crew into the citys water-soaked homes, he said. It allowed him to stretch out a complex story, with themes of race, class and politics that, he said, have too often been sensationalized or rendered in sound bites. He received permission, for example, from Kimberly Polk to film the funeral of her 5-year-old daughter, Sarena Polk, swept away when the waters ravaged the Lower Ninth Ward. She came to me in a dream, Ms. Polk says in the film. She said, Mama, Im falling.

Levees opens with the Louis Armstrong song Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? and offers black-and-white images of the citys Southern-with-a-twist past Mardi Gras, Confederate flags interspersed with scenes of children airlifted from demolished houses, a door marked dead body inside....

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/03/arts/television/03lev...
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. K & R.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:05 AM
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2. k&r
good
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:23 AM
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3. K&R.
I'll be watching.
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gumby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
5. I HAVE to see this...
even though I turned my cable off more than a year ago....Somehow, I'm going to have to see this....

K&R
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knowbody0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
6. Mr. Lee is a national treasure
i got a tear just reading this. thanks
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bananarepublican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 01:03 AM
Response to Original message
7. I wonder if Spike Lee includes a comparison of how Florida was...
...rehabilitated after Hurricane Andrew?

Not that I know, but I strongly suspect Florideans were treated somewhat differently.

Sadly, I believe that "affirmative action" was more smoke and mirrors than anything much else.

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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:21 AM
Response to Original message
8. KnR. I don't get HBO, but will email friends to ask if someone can tape it
This will be too good to miss. Glad he's doing it.

Hekate

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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:35 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Agreed
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
10. Kicked for Spike.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
11. Needs another kick
:kick:
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1gobluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
12. I have to see this
I just returned from five days in New Orleans. I was able to tour some areas and was horrified at what I saw, especially in the Lower Ninth Ward. One would think that storm was last week, not eleven months ago. It's terrible.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
13. K&R for a great film maker.
Spike Lee makes you think.
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