22 user 62 critic

Trouble the Water (2008)

Unrated | | Documentary | 5 December 2008 (UK)
2:00 | Trailer

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A redemptive tale of an aspiring rap artist surviving failed levees and her own troubled past and seizing a chance for a new beginning.


Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Michael Brown ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Herself - Reporter (archive footage)
Ray Nagin ...
Himself (archive footage)
Brian Nobles ...
Wink Rivers ...
Larry Sims ...
Himself - Resident
Shepard Smith ...
Himself (voice) (archive sound)


A redemptive tale of an aspiring rap artist surviving failed levees and her own troubled past and seizing a chance for a new beginning.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

5 December 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

As Águas de Katrina  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$28,606 (USA) (22 August 2008)


$519,981 (USA) (3 April 2009)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


elderly woman: The water is steady rising in the attic ma'am and I'm gonna drown in the attic.
9/11 dispatcher: Can you break a hole in the attic?
elderly woman: I tried. I broke a chair for it. I cannot pry this wood off this attic ma'am.
9/11 dispatcher: The police are not coming out until the weather conditions get better.
elderly woman: [long pause] So I'm gonna die.
[long pause]
elderly woman: Hello?
9/11 dispatcher: Yes.
elderly woman: I can't get out.
See more »


Featured in Treme: Promised Land (2012) See more »


Hurricane Waters
Performed by Citizen Cope
See more »

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User Reviews

A documentary for the People, by the People
26 December 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

A must-see documentary for anyone interested in the suppression of the poor in the United States. What went down in New Orleans was something even the corporate media had a hard time hiding. FOX News was reporting on Hurricane Katrina and saying the place looked like the 3rd world. The images were startling on the US news, but there was still the undertones of profit. "How will this affect gasoline prices?" Julie Chen asks on the CBS morning show after showing footage of all the homeless blacks.

This is the story as told by the people themselves, not by Anderson Cooper or anyone else. This is how the story should be told because these are the people who lived with it. It's not even a story anyone in uniform could tell because they were part of the problem in New Orleans.

One scene of this documentary allows the locals to narrate how they tried to go to a local Navy base in New Orleans which had been evacuated before the storm. It was empty and it had housing for people which wasn't being used. The National Guard who were protecting the building cocked and loaded M-16s and pointed them at the crowd. Nope, these aren't the stories you hear about on CNN.

You won't hear the story about a man in prison for a misdemeanour before the storm hit either. The television was taken away by the guards before footage of the storm was on the air, when the prisoners finally heard that there was a hurricane outside, they were denied food and most of the guards left.

This is a very good documentary, and an important one because it shows the failings of government. The government doesn't fail everyone, it takes very good care of the rich and businesses, which recovered quicker than anyone else in New Orleans. The government failures are biased towards the poor and visual minorities and this doc. pretty much confirms that thesis.

Four years on and not much has changed in the 9th ward, but the casino is open and the tourism department is showing a flashy video urging people to come to New Orleans. The poor black people aren't around any more, except when they're working for minimum wage. The rest have been displaced from the city where they lived but no longer trust to live in anymore.

Katrina is just one of the legacies of the Bush administration and perhaps a strong indication that the US is a country whose power is in decline. What can you possibly say about a country which won't even help its weakest and most destitute citizen? It sucks.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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An excellent film - what's with that rating?? MotherGinSling
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