When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006)

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Movie Info

Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee (the guiding force behind the critically acclaimed documentary 4 Little Girls) turns to nonfiction filmmaking once again with the heart-wrenching marathon work When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, produced by Lee's Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks and originally screened on HBO. In four "acts" of approximately one hour each, Lee examines the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in the late summer of 2005 and the incorrigible response to … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Television, Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 11, 2007
Runtime:

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Critic Reviews for When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (17)

The same didactic instincts that sometimes mar Lee's fictional filmmaking serve him well as a documentarian and eulogist.

May 11, 2007
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Surely the most magnificent and large-souled record of a great American tragedy ever put on film.

May 11, 2007
New Yorker
Top Critic

What breaks your heart is the film's accumulated firsthand stories of New Orleans residents who lost everything in the flood after Hurricane Katrina, and the dismaying conclusion that a year after the disaster, the broken city has been largely abandoned.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

When the Levees Broke is like the New Orleans jazz funeral -- a dirge on the way to the cemetery, an up-tempo parade in the deceased's honor on the bittersweet walk back home.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

An exhaustive, ruminative, angry and even occasionally gallows-humorous account of the strange domino effect of tragedy compounding incompetence compounding tragedy that dealt a critical blow to one of America's great cities.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Do the flaws diminish Levees? To a degree. But the story Lee tells is so powerful, so important, that the lapses aren't a reason not to pay heed to what this passionate film has to say.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic

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