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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Troubled The Water - A New Documentary Worth Your TIme

Mr. E. P., social activist, urban philosopher, filmmakers and friend of the Social Angst Blog contacted me with a heads up regarding a new documentary entitled “Trouble The Water,” now playing at the Independent Film Center here in New York City. Acclaimed producing team Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, who produced the well received Michael Moore films “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” collaborate once again to direct this intimate look at how one family survives both the environmental and social ramifications of Hurricane Katrina.

Kimberly Roberts and her husband Scott did not evacuate their home on the fateful morning of August 29th, citing financial hardship as the primary reason for not attempting the city mandated escape out of New Orleans. Instead of heeding the warnings, the couple remained in their home as the storm hit, the levees broke, and the water rose to record breaking heights. That decision and the subsequent ordeal which followed were all captured on home video by Kimberly and Scott. The footage, raw and emotional, becomes the catalyst of the documentary and allows audiences of the film to experience first-hand the fear and desperation of those who looked Hurricane Katrina in the eye.

Writer Williams Coles of writes:

The film effectively uses home video shot throughout the chaos, footage that illustrates with grueling clarity what it was like for so many people who couldn’t afford to leave yet, through innovation and fortitude, endured nonetheless. The film’s power largely comes from this footage and how it seamlessly meshes with that shot by the filmmakers. The result is a work that lets the power of the characters shine through without them seeming like victims.

The film has already received several accolades, most noteworthy the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Additionally Lessin and Deal won three awards, Full Frame/Working Award, Jury Award, and the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights, at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. (IMDB)

Though I have yet to see the film (hoping to see it before the week ends), Mr. E. P. who is both a filmmaker and Hurricane Katrina activist/volunteer, highly recommends the film. To paraphrase his sentiments (and edit for less colorful language) Mr. E.P. “appreciates the work because it tells the story of an actual New Orleans couple and shows through their own personal video footage how so they were able to save themselves during the storm. The couple was representative of a vast majority of people who stayed behind in the storm, who chose not to let a victim's mentality hold them back from being true heroes. It also allows viewers to see the how difficult it was for families to deal with FEMA. It was a real nice and real simple story. The storm, the rescue, the aide, the move to Memphis, and ultimately the starting anew back in New Orleans.”

The film is playing as follows:


Independent Film Center

323 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10014
Box Office: 212.924.7771

Show times: 11:05 | 12:50pm | 3:00 | 5:15 | 7:30 | 9:45


Landmark Century Centre Cinema

2828 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL
Box Offic: 773.509.4949

Show times: 2:30 | 5:00 | 7:30 | 10:00

(***Find your city here***)


Trouble The Water Official Site

Rising Above the Flood: Kimberly Roberts, Scott Roberts and Carl Deal – by Williams Cole | BrooklynRail.Org

Voice, Eyes and Camera of Katrina Survivors
by Manohla Dargis | New York Times

Movie Review: 'Trouble The Water'
Surviving Katrina With a Big Personality and a Video Camera
by Manohla Dargis | New York Times

'Trouble the Water': 4 stars! -- Katrina gets a good, deep look from people who were there – by Michael Phillips | Chicago Tribune

From desperation comes inspiration: Katrina survivor's video leads to a film - and turns her life around by Glenda S. Buell | The Boston Globe

Movie review: 'Trouble the Water' by Ruthe Stein | The San Francisco Chronicle

Review: 'Trouble the Water' by Kenneth Turan | LA Times

Trouble The Water on IMDB

Hurricane Katrina on Wikipedia

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