Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spike Lee on Katrina

I saw the first part of Spike Lee's Katrina documentary, When the Levees Broke, last night. I was thoroughlly impressed, despite some concerns. I thought it captured all that should be captured, and gave a serious, emotional, and pretty unbiased account of the events. I'd have to say my only real complaint was the intellectually lazy idea once again put forth that somehow having troops in Iraq slowed the National Guard response and cleanup efforts. It was bogus then, and it's bogus now. It doesn't hurt the movie that much, but it was an annoyance.

UPDATE: As expected, the reviews are not all glowing. Many had real problems with the film. Honestly, many of the criticisms are legitimate. Brendan Loy, who basically became the blogger of choice for Katrina coverage, and is actually in the film, had some issues. You really ought to read his post.

Honestly, I still say this is a good film so far. At first, I expected a full-on conspiracy flick a la Fahrenheit 9/11, but I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, you had your conspiracies put out there, which should have been rebutted with alternative arguments. You had copious amounts of criticism of the Bush Administration and the Feds, most of which were legit and accurate. I say most, because some of it was over the top (Harry Belafonte, Sharpton). The point about Condi was problematic. Surely it was in Bad taste to buy shoes during the disaster, but it wasn't really her job to manage the federal response. The point made about other nations (namely Venezuela and Cuba) offering assistance was laughable. Does Harry Belafonte really think Hugo Chavez gives a damn about the people of New Orleans?

Oh, and Nagin's performance ought to have been scrutinized more clearly. He blew it big time, as did Blanco, and the Feds.

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