Trouble the Water (2008)
Critic Consensus: This incredible documentary displays the tragedy and mismanagement of Katrina along with the heroism of strangers and survivors.
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Critic Reviews for Trouble the Water
'God's gonna trouble the water,' goes the chorus from the African-American spiritual that gives Trouble the Water its title, but no deity is to blame for the tide of bureaucratic bungling and inhumanity the movie reveals.
The person at the centre emerges as a force of nature unto herself. Meet, and prepare to be inspired by, Kimberly Rivers Roberts.
Essential, startling and distressing insight into what it was like to be in the eye of the Katrina storm if you were a poor, black resident of the Ninth Ward of New Orleans on Monday August 29 2005.
You can't help wanting -- and maybe needing -- to read into her indomitable spiritedness something like a reason for hope. For her, for other Katrina survivors, for all of us.
It's not quite a Grapes of Wrath for our times, but Trouble the Water does give a voice to people America didn't see or listen to before Katrina.
More than most documentaries, this mosaiclike movie is made up of many pieces, and it's considerably more than the sum of those parts.
Audience Reviews for Trouble the Water
Unfortunately Deal and Lessin had to deal with Spike Lee's "epic" on the Hurricane and will forever have to be compared with that work. Thankfully, it is good and in most cases this is more poignant than Lee's excessive piece.
Kimberly Rivers Roberts and her family survive Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. The film takes several pot shots at the Bush Administration and the local governments in their handling of the disaster, and it sets up its primary subject as a hero, a survivor in the face of unimaginable hardship. Politically, I agree with the film's disdain, and although it took me a while to like Roberts, by the end of the film, I admired her even if I don't know how long we could sustain a conversation in real life. Overall, it's biased, but Trouble the Water is ultimately an important film.
"Trouble the Water" is a documentary about Kim and Scott Roberts who lacking transportation decided to ride out Hurricane Katrina in their home in New Orleans, stocking up on supplies and filming home movies before, during and after. Luckily, they made it not only out of their home alive after the levees broke, first from their attic, then to a neighbor's home on higher ground and later 220 miles away to Alexandria, La. The movie speaks not only to their harrowing journey of survival but also to the unpreparedness and intransigence of the authorities who were seemingly more interested in protecting property than saving lives. More help came from families and friends but only the government can work on the huge scale required.(There are many invocations of religion which speaks to the general helplessness of the situation.) Such laissez-faire attitudes are also the indirect cause of the oil spill that is currently causing so much damage in the gulf coast. The documentary squanders its excellent point of view by focusing more on the familiar larger story, than the more intimate, smaller story, as it gets off a ridiculously cheap shot towards the finish. Sadly, the movie also eventually runs out of steam, not having a clear idea when to end, as the story is still ongoing.
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