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March 30, 2009 | by  | in Film |
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Trouble the Water

Trouble the Water is very personal and direct view of the destruction done to New Orleans by Hurrican Katrina, and the following confusion and neglect by the national services. It is a moving but not overly manipulive portrait of what happens when nature gets pissed and no one else seems to care.

A large chunk of the film consists of amatuer rapper Kimberly Rivers Roberts’ home video footage of life immediately before and during the hurricane. She is a consumate performer, always entertaining but never underselling the terror of the coming water. Her wit and infectious smile save Trouble the Water from simply being a harrowing journey into destruction and death.

We also follow her and her husband as they return to the devestated city several days after. This is where the film packs its true emotional punch. As we all know by now, the national authorities were doing little if anything to assist the people of New Orleans for a long time after Katrina. Trouble the Water is littered with potent images of this neglect. Rescue services who will simply mark houses as searched without going past the porch, the running rings of insane bureaucracy which force the survivors into a series of hurry-up-and-wait scenarios. This is part of that paticular brand of political documentary that gives you no choice but to get mad at the stupidity of the people in charge.

Trouble the Water attacks a very heavy and depressing subject. While it never denies the events it records their gravitas, it is to its immense credit that it doesn’t forget that even in the deepest darkest moments there are little bits of light.

You have to see this. You really do.

Directed by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal
Part of the World Cinema Showcase

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About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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