[Rough Draft]

A weblog about god, doubt, insomnia, culture, baseball

8.29.2006

katrina plus one

even as i type, i'm watching act vi of spike lee's "when the levees broke: a requiem in four acts," and i don't know what to say. i just know i have to say something. this is an extraordinarily affecting piece of television. i remember watching the media coverage of the storm in late august and early september of last year, paying especial attention b/c renee's family lives in hancock county, ms, and we didn't know whether they were safe for several days after the storm made landfall, but until i saw lee's film, i really had no idea. i've been to new orleans twice since the hurricane, and i've driven all over the ms gulf coast to see the devastation -- and it is truly mind-boggling to see it in person -- but i don't think i appreciated the human suffering and agony until tonight. the show isn't really about placing blame (well, some of it is, and justifiably so -- a guy just said "somebody needs to go to jail," and i have to agree), but i can't watch this w/o thinking that the tragedy could have been ameliorated @ so many points along the way . . . but it wasn't. i commend the show to you, as painful as it is to watch @ 1 go. i supposed lee would make a spectacle of the event, but i was wrong. i actually think this film is far less sensational than most of the anderson cooper 360s and nbc world news tonights i watched a year ago, and it takes watching hours of this stuff to gain any real appreciation of the event. little 3-minute news clips of geraldo in rain boots don't get it across. i know lee will take flak for being too hard on the federal gov't (even the nyt acknowledged a "cheap shot" or two), but it's a film worth watching, even just to spend 4 puny hours watching what to the eye-witnesses must have seemed like a lifetime of hell. i feel like i owe the victims that much (and a lot more).

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