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Spike Lee to unearth hidden drama of New Orleans 5 years after Katrina

Director Spike Lee has filmed a two part, four-hour documentary If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise”, about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The film is a sequel to “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” which was released in 2006 and won numerous awards and praise for its realistic depiction and powerful message. Spike Lee, who is renowned for his movies on race relations and revisiting history, told Reuters “People are just trying to survive, trying to get by, trying to get their lives back in order. Some people have made more progress than others. We wanted (the second film) to continue the story, which is a great part of America’s history”.

Hurricane Katrina killed more than 1500 people and was one of the worst ecological disasters in US History until the BP Oil Spill, which ravaged the gulf coast, struck in April 2010. Lee finished filming the documentary just before the gulf oil spill but had to “reconfigure everything”. In the second film, several key events are highlighted including the election of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Saints victory at the NFL Superbowl and an ongoing tragedy today; the gulf oil spill.

The film also makes a comparison to the Haiti Earthquake which struck in January, and follows Sean Penn’s efforts in both disasters.

The community of New Orleans has been forever marked by the tragedy that struck 5 years ago this August. Many people feel bitter about how the Bush administration responded poorly to the disaster, and even now rebuilding feels painfully slow for many who still haven t returned to their homes. Despite the ongoing struggle that New Orleans residents face, several high profile charitable organizations and celebrities have brought much needed help and expertise to the region. One such advocate to launch a campaign to help the region was Brad Pitt; with his charity Make it Right. The NGO has helped rebuild eco-friendly homes in the lower 9th Ward over the past few years to help people move back into their neighborhood.

If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, will debut on the HBO network on August 23 and 24, a few days before the fifth anniversary of the storm.

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