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When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts 

An examination of the U.S. government's 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 Darleen Asevedo ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Jay Asevedo Jay Asevedo ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Shelton Shakespear Alexander Shelton Shakespear Alexander ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Lee Arnold Lee Arnold ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Gralen Bryant Banks ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
John Barry John Barry ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Robert Bea Robert Bea ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Harry Belafonte ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Wilhelmina Blanchard Wilhelmina Blanchard ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Terence Blanchard ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Kathleen Blanco Kathleen Blanco ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Douglas Brinkley ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Joseph Bruno Joseph Bruno ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Karen Carter Karen Carter ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Louis Cataldie Louis Cataldie ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Judith Morgan Judith Morgan ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Cheryl Livaudais Cheryl Livaudais ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Will Chittenden Will Chittenden ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Eddie Compass Eddie Compass ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Harry Cook Harry Cook ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Sarah Dean Sarah Dean ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Petri Laurimaa Petri Laurimaa ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Emil Dumesnil Emil Dumesnil ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Michael Eric Dyson Michael Eric Dyson ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Felton Earls Felton Earls ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Paris Ervin Paris Ervin ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Sylvester Francis Sylvester Francis ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Herbert Freeman Jr. Herbert Freeman Jr. ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Dale Girard ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Louella P. Givens Louella P. Givens ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Anita Gupta Anita Gupta ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Glenn Hall Glenn Hall ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Josephine Butler ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Donald Harrison ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Darnell Herrington Darnell Herrington ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Corey Hebert Corey Hebert ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Damon Hewitt Damon Hewitt ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Freddie Hicks Freddie Hicks ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Justin Hite Justin Hite ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Fred Johnson Fred Johnson ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Michael Katz Michael Katz ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Michael Knight Michael Knight ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Mitch Landrieu Mitch Landrieu ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Phyllis Montana LeBlanc ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Trymaine Lee Trymaine Lee ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Brendan Loy Brendan Loy ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Calvin Mackie Calvin Mackie ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Ben Marble Ben Marble ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Wynton Marsalis ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Kevin A. Martin Kevin A. Martin ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Hassan Mashriqui Hassan Mashriqui ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Audrey Mason Audrey Mason ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Betty McHale Betty McHale ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Charles McHale Charles McHale ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
David Meeks David Meeks ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Joseph Melancon Joseph Melancon ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Gina Montana ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Henry Morgan Henry Morgan ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Marc H. Morial Marc H. Morial ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Cynthia Hedge-Morrell Cynthia Hedge-Morrell ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Arthur Morrell Arthur Morrell ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Joycelynn Moses Joycelynn Moses ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Anthony Dunn Anthony Dunn ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Ray Nagin Ray Nagin ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Linda Novak Linda Novak ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Soledad O'Brien ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Sean Penn ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Bennie Pete Bennie Pete ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Wendell Pierce ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Kimberly Polk Kimberly Polk ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
James Pullings Jr. James Pullings Jr. ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Garland Robinette Garland Robinette ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Robert Rocque Robert Rocque ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Junior Rodriguez Junior Rodriguez ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Daina Saulny Daina Saulny ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Michael Scott Schlacter Michael Scott Schlacter ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Jeffrey David Schultz Jeffrey David Schultz ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Jay Scully Jay Scully ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Mike Seelig Mike Seelig ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Lewis Setliff III Lewis Setliff III ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Al Sharpton ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Brian Thevenot Brian Thevenot ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Charley Varley Charley Varley ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Ivor Van Heerden Ivor Van Heerden ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Elder William Walker Jr. Elder William Walker Jr. ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Rhonda Washington Rhonda Washington ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Kanye West ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Roy Williams Roy Williams ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Lois Armstrong Lois Armstrong ...  Herself - CNN anchor 2 episodes, 2006
Chirrie Harris Chirrie Harris ...  Herself - Interviwee 2 episodes, 2006
Tanya Harris Tanya Harris ...  Herself - Interviwee 2 episodes, 2006
Florence Jackson Florence Jackson ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2006
Shawn Kael Shawn Kael ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2006
Douglas Kiesling Douglas Kiesling ...  Himself - Weather Paparazzi & Major Katrina Stock Footage Source 2 episodes, 2006
Michael Brown Michael Brown ...  Himself (archive footage) 2 episodes, 2006
Barbara Bush ...  Herself (archive footage) 2 episodes, 2006
George W. Bush ...  Himself (archive footage) 2 episodes, 2006
Dick Cheney ...  Himself (archive footage) 2 episodes, 2006
Anderson Cooper ...  Himself (archive footage) 2 episodes, 2006
Russel Honore Russel Honore ...  Himself (archive footage) 2 episodes, 2006
Mike Myers ...  Himself (archive footage) 2 episodes, 2006
Betty Nguyen Betty Nguyen ...  Herself (archive footage) 2 episodes, 2006
Condoleezza Rice ...  Herself (archive footage) 2 episodes, 2006
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

HBO [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

When the Levees Broke See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unlike most of Spike Lee's films, this does not feature his customary titling "A Spike Lee Joint." See more »

Connections

Features Anderson Cooper 360° (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
powerful, angering and a must see
22 August 2006 | by dave1606See 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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