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When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts 

An examination of the U.S. government's role and its response to Hurricane Katrina.
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Won 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Darleen Asevedo ...
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Jay Asevedo ...
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Shelton Shakespear Alexander ...
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Lee Arnold ...
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Gralen Bryant Banks ...
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John Barry ...
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Robert Bea ...
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Wilhelmina Blanchard ...
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Kathleen Blanco ...
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Joseph Bruno ...
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Karen Carter ...
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Louis Cataldie ...
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Judith Morgan ...
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Cheryl Livaudais ...
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Will Chittenden ...
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Eddie Compass ...
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Harry Cook ...
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Sarah Dean ...
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Petri Laurimaa ...
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Emil Dumesnil ...
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Michael Eric Dyson ...
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Felton Earls ...
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Paris Ervin ...
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Sylvester Francis ...
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Herbert Freeman Jr. ...
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Louella P. Givens ...
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Anita Gupta ...
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Glenn Hall ...
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Donald Harrison ...
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Darnell Herrington ...
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Corey Hebert ...
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Damon Hewitt ...
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Freddie Hicks ...
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Justin Hite ...
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Fred Johnson ...
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Michael Katz ...
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Michael Knight ...
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Mitch Landrieu ...
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Trymaine Lee ...
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Brendan Loy ...
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Calvin Mackie ...
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Ben Marble ...
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Kevin A. Martin ...
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Hassan Mashriqui ...
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Audrey Mason ...
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Betty McHale ...
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Charles McHale ...
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David Meeks ...
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Joseph Melancon ...
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Henry Morgan ...
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Marc H. Morial ...
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Cynthia Hedge-Morrell ...
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Arthur Morrell ...
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Joycelynn Moses ...
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Anthony Dunn ...
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Ray Nagin ...
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Linda Novak ...
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Bennie Pete ...
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Kimberly Polk ...
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James Pullings Jr. ...
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Garland Robinette ...
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Robert Rocque ...
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Junior Rodriguez ...
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Daina Saulny ...
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Michael Scott Schlacter ...
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Jeffrey David Schultz ...
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Jay Scully ...
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Mike Seelig ...
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Lewis Setliff III ...
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Brian Thevenot ...
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Charley Varley ...
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Ivor Van Heerden ...
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Elder William Walker Jr. ...
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Rhonda Washington ...
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Roy Williams ...
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Lois Armstrong ...
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Chirrie Harris ...
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Tanya Harris ...
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Florence Jackson ...
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Shawn Kael ...
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Douglas Kiesling ...
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Michael Brown ...
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Barbara Bush ...
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Dick Cheney ...
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Russel Honore ...
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Betty Nguyen ...
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Storyline

In August 2005, the American city of New Orleans was struck by the powerful Hurricane Katrina. Although the storm was damaging by itself, that was not the true disaster. That happened when the city's flooding safeguards like levees failed and put most of the city, which is largely below sea level, underwater. This film covers that disastrous series of events that devastated the city and its people. Furthermore, the gross incompetence of the various governments and the powerful from the local to the federal level is examined to show how the poor and underprivileged of New Orleans were mistreated in this grand calamity and still ignored today. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An American Tragedy

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

21 August 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When the Levees Broke  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts)

Sound Mix:

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Connections

Referenced in Who Do You Think You Are?: Spike Lee (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
powerful, angering and a must see
22 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spike Lee's film When the Levees Broke: A Requim in Four acts is a haunting look at New Orleans during and after the devastation of Katrina. But this documentary is quick to point out that the disaster was not really from nature at all, it came directly from our own government, from the army core of engineers' poor construction of the Levees to the complete breakdown of the federal government and FEMA's lack buster response. This is not easy to watch as you see just how people's lives were devastated. It is angering, saddening, and also hopeful that New Orleans will be rebuilt and that there is progress made. I liked how it does not point blame in one direction. Everyone is at fault here though some more than others. Seeing the picture of Dick Chenney fly fishing days after the disaster and Condaliza Rice buying shoes in NYC were certainly angering but also watching the governor of Lousiana refuse help from our president are standouts. However the real star of this documentary are the people of New Orleans. They talk freely and angrily about the pain that they have gone through and show that the storm didn't end last August, its still going on there to this day. It is unbelievable to watch as these people wait 4 months and longer for FEMA trailers, and when they get them to find that there is no electricity. When asked what she could do to get electricity one woman suggests a blow-job. It just shows the complete lack of support our government gave to this state and to this city. This film will move you to tears many times and is hard to take but it is necessary to watch . It features a superb score by Terrance Blanchard whose own family was devastated by Katrina as shown on film. An excellent documentary.


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