On Fire Drill Fridays Movie Nights we come together (virtually) to watch a film with themes of climate change and activism. Jane Fonda curates the films, and everyone is welcome to join the community chat during the screening and a Q&A between Jane and the filmmaker after the film.
This month we’re watching When the Levees Broke, Act I. One year after the August 2005 disaster that forever changed New Orleans, acclaimed director Spike Lee presents this four-hour, four-part HBO documentary event that recounts Hurricane Katrina through words and images. The film tells the personal stories of survivors while also exploring the pronounced divide along race and class lines in the areas devastated by Katrina. After the screening of Act I, there will be a Q&A with Jane Fonda and director Spike Lee.
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When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts is a 2006 documentary film directed by Spike Lee about the devastation of New Orleans, Louisiana following the failure of the levees during Hurricane Katrina.
The documentary is based on news video footage and still photos of Katrina and its aftermath, interspersed with interviews. Interviewees include politicians, journalists, historians, engineers, and many residents of various parts of New Orleans and the surrounding areas, who give first hand accounts of their experiences with the levee failures and the aftermath.
Spike Lee said about the documentary, “New Orleans is fighting for its life. These are not people who will disappear quietly — they’re accustomed to hardship and slights, and they’ll fight for New Orleans. This film will showcase the struggle for New Orleans by focusing on the profound loss, as well as the indomitable spirit of New Orleanians.”
When the Levees Broke won three Emmys and received a Peabody Award.
Spike Lee is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and professor. His production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, has produced more than 35 films since 1983. He made his directorial debut with She’s Gotta Have It and has since written and directed such films as Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, 25th Hour, BlacKkKlansman, and Da 5 Bloods.