Parents' Guide to

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

By Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Spike Lee's masterful and disturbing Katrina docu.

TV HBO Drama 2006
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Lee has created a masterpiece of journalism. When the Levees Broke is an undeniably American story that asks and begs: Why was the response so shamefully slow? At one point, police chief Eddie Compass, struck by the suffering around him days after the flood, says, "I need someone to get me a cruise boat or some type of boat, a cruise ship or some type of ship that I can put my people on, that I can give my people some comfort, so I can help my people."

In answering the question of the year, Lee spares no one, up to and including the president, New Orleans' mayor, and a culture that abandoned the poor, black people of New Orleans long before Katrina hit. This is challenging viewing, but it's also hopeful, and full of the power of the human spirit, laced with some wonderful musical performances and a deep faith in the power of the people of New Orleans to come back.

TV Details

  • Premiere date: August 21, 2006
  • Network: HBO
  • Genre: Drama
  • TV rating: TV-MA
  • Last updated: July 30, 2023

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