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Trouble the Water (DVD Review)

19 Jul, 2009 By: Eui-jo Marquez

Trouble the Water

Prebook 7/21/09; Street 8/25/09
Box Office $0.5 million
$29.99 DVD
Not rated.

Four years after Hurricane Katrina whipped through New Orleans, the documentary Trouble the Water is still trying to bring national attention to the aftermath.

This documentary, produced by Danny Glover, puts a very real face on the catastrophe. Many of the city’s inhabitants had no means of evacuating, including Kimberly Roberts, an aspiring rapper and a resident of the Ninth Ward.

On Aug. 28, 2005, Roberts took her Hi-8 video camera and began taping the ordeal and her journey from the attic of her flooded home, in and out of shelters and family and friends’ homes, and finally to safety and relative normalcy two years later.

Through the journey, Roberts finds that even a dark and deadly storm such as Katrina can have a silver lining. Along the way she teamed with Tia Lessin and Carl Deal (producers of Fahrenheit 9/11), who directed and produced Trouble the Water. They accompany Roberts on her journey, filming, interviewing and delivering this message.

The film mixes Roberts’ Blair Witch-style footage with TV news reports before, during and after the storm, press conferences, including President Bush’s El Mirage RV Resort visit, footage of the aftermath, ineffectual 911 calls, radar images of the Hurricane and interviews with victims, National Guardsmen and Navy personnel.

The 2008 film was nominated for a best documentary feature Oscar and won the grand jury prize for best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.

Trouble the Water is a heart-wrenching reminder not to take anything for granted.   

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