7 user 1 critic

An American Opera (2007)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 22 January 2007 (USA)
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, America suffered the worst domestic animal crisis in its history. Tens of thousands of house pets were left to perish in neighborhoods all across the ... See full summary »


Tom McPhee

Watch Now

From $4.99 (SD) on Prime Video

3 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Tom McPhee ... Himself
Jane Garrison Jane Garrison ... Herself - Animal Rescuer
Lamonte Chenevert Lamonte Chenevert ... Himself - Resident
Susan Benezeck Susan Benezeck ... Herself - Resident
Wayne Pacelle Wayne Pacelle ... Himself - CEO of HSUS
Maxwell A. Lea Jr. Maxwell A. Lea Jr. ... Himself - State Veterinarian (as Dr. Maxwell A. Lea Jr.)
Mark Steinway Mark Steinway ... Himself - Humane Investigator
Laura Maloney Laura Maloney ... Herself - LASPCA Director
Chris Acosta Chris Acosta ... Himself - Resident
Crystal Acosta Crystal Acosta ... Herself - Resident
David Leeson David Leeson ... Himself - Reporter
Mimi Hunley Mimi Hunley ... Herself - Louisiana Assistant Attorney General
Marie Belew Wheatly Marie Belew Wheatly ... Herself - CEO of American Humane Association


In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, America suffered the worst domestic animal crisis in its history. Tens of thousands of house pets were left to perish in neighborhoods all across the gulf when the owners were forced to evacuate without their pets. Tom McPhee went to Gonzales, Louisiana not knowing how he would help, just knowing he needed to help somehow. He volunteered at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center and by chance found himself spending the next four days taking picture after picture of thousands of house pets rescued from flooded New Orleans. For the next 16 months Tom would document this historic event as it unfolded, trying to understand where it all went wrong. An American Opera is an unflinching, operatic vision of what happened to the people of New Orleans who were forced to evacuate without their beloved pets. Follow the story of the Pets, Vets, Owners, Officials, Rescuers and Adopters of animals as they all work through the chaos to do what is right only to discover not ... Written by Tom McPhee

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When EVERYONE believes they are doing RIGHT, how can so much go WRONG?




Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

22 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Gonzales, Louisiana, USA See more »


Box Office


$150,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Twin Heart
By Julia Marcell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

American Opera Sings Out The Plight Of Animals
4 August 2009 | by DavidStewart57See all my reviews

Salman Rushdie once said, "If you want to give voice to the voiceless, you've got to find a language." Tom McPhee gives that voice to the animals, who suffered during Hurricane Katrina, in his film, "An American Opera." The film opens with an homage to "Apocalypse Now"; an aid worker looks up at a revolving fan and the camera overlooks the flooded areas of Louisiana. The next eighty-seven minutes takes you on an unforgettable journey through the salvaged areas of New Orleans and the stores of heroism and shock concerning man's best friend.

"An American Opera" is not just a documentary; it is a juxtaposition of different documentaries blended into one. The editing of interviews between the animal rescue workers and members of the American Humane Association mirrors the split screen style used in "Woodstock" and Saul Swimmer's "Concert for Bangladesh." The unflinching eye through the halls of the abandoned St. Bernard's School, in which 33 dogs and cats were killed by the St. Bernard Sheriff's Officers, compares favorably to the shots of Abu Ghraib from Errol Morris's "Standard Operating Procedure."

"An American Opera" is a stunning piece of citizen journalism. Tom McPhee carries on the torch once lit by John Huston during his days as a documentary filmmaker during World War II as he examines a world not so often told by today's 24-hour media circus. Get ready to be shocked and inspired by "An American Opera."

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed