Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Review: Trouble the Water

Friday night I was all ready to settle into some television and a slice of pizza when one of my roommates forced me to get up off my butt and head downtown to the IFC Center to see the opening screening of a film called Trouble The Water.  Reluctantly I went (I can be really lazy- I was tired!) but fortunately was incredibly grateful that I did.
The film, executive produced by Danny Glover (who was there!  He was standing in my way as I tried to sneak in some outside food lol), follows a trio of Hurricane Katrina survivors who lived through the storm and are attempting to rebuild their lives in its environmental, social and economic aftermath.  TTW uses footage taken by the documentary makers, clips from news channels/speeches and home video caught by one of the main subjects of the film, Kimberly Rivers Roberts.
Roberts, her husband, and a friend (encountered during Katrina) return to New Orleans two weeks after the storm to find their homes destroyed.  Unlike what you'd expect, TTW doesn't just talk about how much of a failure the infrastructure our government's disaster relief groups were, but it brings life to the fact that the people whose lives were most devastated by the storm were already dealing with life-threatening situations, drug abuse, death and financial instability.  Kim's mother died of AIDS, both she and her husband were former drug dealers who were failed by the public education system, their friend Brian is a former addict, they have no bank account and- like so many others- couldn't leave New Orleans because they simply did not have the means.
Trouble The Water not only reminds us of what happened during Katrina (as well as the fact that the US Government cares very little about the impoverished minorities crowded in its urban centers) but brings to light the fact that the sicknesses exacerbated by Katrina in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast (poverty, poor public education, drug use, STIs and STDs, violence, abuse) not only existed before the storm, but are still here and will be here long into the future unless we take some sort of action.  If there's only one word I could use to describe this film, it would be:
I strongly urge you to go if it's playing in your city- click here to find information on screenings and openings.

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