When The Levees Broke Acts I and II by Spike Lee (HBO)

This post reviews the new documentary by Spike Lee called When The Levees Broke Acts I and II on HBO. This documentary tells the tale of hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

This is a documentary detailing the lives of people struggling to rebuild New Orleans after hurricane Katrina destroyed large parts of it. The growing controversy is steaming because the government isn’t doing what the people expected. This is directed by groundbreaking director Spike Lee of 25th Hour and Inside Man.

The Battle Of New Orleans.

Sign in post Katrina ravaged New Orleans.

There was speculation that the levees were blown up because residents heard the explosion. Why? Because it was also rumored to be done in 1965 because of hurricane Betsy. Why? Because they wanted to flood the Ninth Ward intentionally in order to save the more expensive properties on Lakeview.

There are also a lot of discussions on the effectiveness of the levees. In the opinions shown in this documentary, it is mentioned that they were badly engineered and even after 40 years, they were not completed. The levees failed a level 1 hurricane. Why? Because the hurricane missed New Orleans, but filled the lake up to the breaking point.


Because of the FEMA debacle, the Homeland absorbed and reformatted FEMA. It has been said in the media that it has become insignificant. Looting got out of hand and the rule of law totally broke down.


I guess what really pissed people off is that Canadian Mounties and other humanitarian forces from all over the world showed up before the federal government. Now how stupid is that? The 82nd Airborne was in the tsunami region of Indonesia within 48 hours and it took days and days before anyone showed up in New Orleans.


The problem was that the government and the people appointed didn’t really care. Dick Chenney was fly fishing, Michael Chertoff, head of Homeland Security, was in Atlanta on a infectious disease conference, and Dr Condeleeza Rice was at Ferragamo’s buying Manolo Blahnik’s. The day after, she was playing tennis with Monica Seles. Nobody cared. When foreign nations care more than the federal government about the situation in New Orleans, it is lamentable.


Let’s remember Chartreuse’s post about FEMA and this debacle.

How can we have better intelligence than you? I have a research file compiled by my 23 year old production assistant, how can this be better than what you have?

CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien to Mike Brown, form head of FEMA, talking to him five days after the hurricane about the state of New Orleans.


He’s the type of student that gives C students all over the world a bad name.

Robert Rocque talking about President Bush’s response to hurricane Katrina.

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

12 thoughts on “When The Levees Broke Acts I and II by Spike Lee (HBO)”

  1. One little problem.

    Umm, no. Not in 1965 by Betsy, that was a rumor then. Far fewer levees broke then. My parents stayed for Betsy, too. Some levees downriver -were- blown up in 1927, which is widely acknowledged as the source of those rumors.

  2. Yeah, I know. But it was made clear in the doc that they suspected that in 1965 as well as in 2005 that the levees where bombed. For myself, I do not what is the truth, but the that is the opinion of the director. Thanks Candice, I’ll correct that assumption, I don’t think I made that one clear enough.

    How are the blog-reporters doing?

  3. Yeah, they did suspect it in 1965 as well.

    Also, the actual sound of levees breaking is really really loud. It’s not that far of a stretch.

    The blog-reporters? Don’t ask me right now, I’m buried in work and school. I worked until 11pm tonight and could have worked more.

    I haven’t watched it yet, because I don’t have HBO right now. My mother may have tivo’ed it though. She approved.

  4. Yeah, I don’t have HBO either…
    Other than that, I might do some docs from Taiwan as well. I’m moving there in September.

  5. I hope through all the writing, research and new disoveries or uncoveries a truth becomes more real and that people will understand that human beings are created equal and adjust their thinking to treating eachother as equals.

    Thanks for the synopsis range and candice.

    range – You are moving to Taiwan! wow!

  6. Hey Jessica, yep, the wife and I have found teaching jobs in Taiwan. And since the condo is sold, we don’t really have any ties that bind us. In a few years, we will probably move back to Canada, BC, but that is in the future. We found jobs that pay pretty well and with 6% income tax and super cheap living, C200$ for rent, we couldn’t let that pass us by.

    Plus we always wanted to travel together. I’ve got my eye on a HD camcorder for vlogs, vids and docs. I’m looking forward to that too.

  7. The pictures on HDR group are pretty amazing. I’ve been browsing around the flickr and I can say, those photographers are so PRO. Thanks for the links.

  8. Too bad we dont have HBO here. I am still wondering why the American government can’t manage to help New Orleans as fast as they could. They even manage to invade a whole country in a matter of days

  9. Hey Chas, I don’t have it either, but that doesn’t stop me from seeing stuff like this. In fact, I don’t have a TV anymore.

    @K no problem.

  10. All awesomeness about living abroad because you can aside, you are so going to end up with a ton of cool asian electronics. 🙂

    charles, the answer would take days. The beginning was the worth part, though, because they were just not coming.

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