Tonight, E. and I saw the film Trouble the Water. I can honestly say that it was one of the most moving movie experiences that I have ever had - with only Hotel Rwanda coming even close.
The movie is a documentary that follows a husband and wife couple during and after Hurricane Katrina. The couple had a video camera that they used to film their neighborhood (the 9th Ward) before, during, and after the hurricane. The directors meet up with the couple two weeks after the hurricane and follow them for the next several weeks. The directors weave the raw footage from the couple with their professional footage along with news clips and press conferences to tell the story of Katrina as it was experienced by this couple. The movie does an incredible job linking the experience of this couple with the larger social structures that serve to exacerbate the problems experienced by the victims.
I cannot believe the strength of Kimberly Rivers Rodgers, a.k.a. Black Kold Madina, and husband Scott is truly amazing. I would like to think that in a similar situation, I would show the compassion and concern for fellow human beings that the two of them did. But, looking deep down in my heart, I know that just plain isn't true. In the worst of times, they rose to the challenge and quite literally saved lives in the process. Only then to watch them suffer the injustices wrought by a failed government and structural constraints that made it virtually impossible for them to build a new life outside of New Orleans. Again, I would say more,
I don't want to say too much about the specifics of the film, but instead encourage everyone to see it, but I worry that it will ruin the power of the movie. It made me sad to watch the suffering and it made me angry watching our government's complete disregard for that suffering; more than anything, however, it made me feel an incredible sense of compassion for others. Unfortunately, it is only playing in a couple of venues for short runs, so it is not exactly accessible. But, I think that the success of the film and, thus, the opportunity for more viewings in more cities is going to be based on the success where it is currently running. I would