We missed the premiere on HBO
, so it's only now that we've been able to watch Spike Lee's four-hour Katrina documentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
This is a devastating, frustrating, infuriating, utterly powerful movie: sometimes very hard to watch, but necessary all the same. I was quite surprised (and pleased) by its apoliticality, at least with regard to electoral politics; although the federal government rightly bears the brunt of it, Lee's holy anger is leveled at all levels of government and all political actors regardless of party affiliation. It's classism and racism that we are primary concerned with here, the everyday bigotry and lack of caring that was turned against Katrina's victims just as soon as we'd failed them.
I sometimes wonder whether it's Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, Operation Enduring Freedom, or the tsunami that will come to be seen as the formative disaster of our time. I suppose the tragedy is that it's all of them.