Monday, August 21, 2006

When the Levees Broke...

The 9th ward of New Orleans in late 2005.
Additional photos by reporter Rex Wockner here

Any recent event in the United States pales, and I mean any recent event - including 9/11 - pales, when you are confronted by the scale of tragedy, death and governmental ineptitude that were exposed when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans a year ago and nearly erased one of the major cities in the United States from the map.

I've never been a Spike Lee fan but his understated, devastating, mournful and angry "
When the Levees Broke" (on HBO tonight and tomorrow) is as powerful a documentary as I have probably ever seen in my life (and that's only talking about part 1, part 2 airs tomorrow and that's when the New York Times says that the documentary "rises to greatness" - though I find it hard to believe that part 2 will be able to top the amazing part 1).

There is no way that you can watch this documentary, whether you are a Republican or Democrat, and not acknowledge that this government has been an utter and complete failure. Unfortunately, unlike the documentaries that were aired on national television just a year after the September 11, 2001 attacks (specifically "9/11" on ABC), you have to have a subscription to HBO in order to see this particular masterpiece. After August 30th it will also be available on 'HBO on demand' for those of you who have access to the cable systems. Hopefully it will also be released soon enough on DVD and provide even more people reason to throw this government out of office once election season comes around.

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