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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Roy Williams ...
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Lois Armstrong ...
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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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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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Release Date:

21 August 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When the Levees Broke  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Runtime:

(2 parts)

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Connections

Followed by If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A powerful and emotional documentation on this nation's worst disaster
21 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spike Lee has made his most powerful work yet with "When The Levees Broke". It has only been one night and two hours, but this documentary has moved me in such a way. I lived to see this on television but nothing quite put me in the middle of this disaster than this documentary. In depth interviews with the mayor, governor and citizens of New Orleans and the Ninth Ward was so stripped down and raw, I couldn't do anything but weep. This is really the first motion picture or anything of that like to make me cry. I felt like I was there and experienced it. One thing that I applaud Spike for was keeping it real. Nothing was censored, which comes to no surprise because it's on HBO, but vivid portrayals of the environment such as dead bodies or backed up sewage, were shown and even when it wasn't you felt like you could see or smell it. The frustration of the people of New Orleans pierces your heart and you could do nothing but feel for them. In two hours, "When The Leeves Broke" taught me things and gave a lot of insight on the Hurricane Katrina fiasco. I eagerly await the final two hours.


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