Spike Lee’s Controversial Katrina Doc

Assigned by HBO to chronicle Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, Spike Lee produced the hotly controversial When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. When the film premiered in New Orleans Wednesday (August 16) for thousands of survivors, reactions were mixed, with some upset that Lee’s primary focus was on African-Americans in the Ninth Ward, the area that was said to have been hit the hardest. They suggested he should have had more representation from Mississippi’s Gulf Coast residents. “Because of the historical significance,” Lee said, according to the AP, “we chose to focus here. That was my vision. I wanted to concentrate on New Orleans.” In the documentary, which debuts Monday, Lee makes little attempt to hide his disdain for the government’s response to Katrina victims. “The devastation here was not brought on solely by Mother Nature,” Lee said. “People in charge were not doing their job.”

But Lee’s main focus is not to skewer the administration; rather, it’s to remind people that Katrina victims still need help. “People are still in dire straits,” he said. “We want to put the focus back here.”

Talk: Do you think the timing is right for Lee’s documentary? COMMENT

On the Web: hbo.com


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