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

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An American Tragedy

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Documentary

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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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21 August 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When the Levees Broke  »

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Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
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(2 parts)

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References Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

The Truth Is Even Worse
3 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

Spike Lee is certainly not correct about levees being blown,but the truth is even worse.He is certainly nearer to the truth than people who blame "the force of the hurricane".As one who rode out both Katrina and Hurricane Betsy in the same house in Gentilly,it was obvious at the time that Katrina was no worse.The lake levees,which were properly built,though exposed to the full force of the storm,came through unscathed.What collapsed and flooded the main part of the city west of the Industrial Canal were those worthless,cracker box,stage-prop "flood walls" along the drainage canals that folded up and collapsed like cheap card tables the minute the water rose.

Besides the Corps of Engineers,we can blame former Mayor "Slimy Sidney" Barthelemy"The Man Who Murdered A City".He deliberately forced out the veteran engineers of the Sewage & Water Board,so that no one would object to those worthless (but profitable) frauds.AND he had the valuable assistance of the alleged "newspaper",the Times Picayune which covered up his criminality. The incompetent stooges that Barthelemy replaced the experienced engineers with not only approved those worthless flood walls that the old engineers knew were disasters waiting to happen,but, still infesting the Sewage & Water Board to this day,insanely dredged the drainage canals in such a way as to remove what little foundations those flood walls had.The 17th St. Canal shows this graphically.This sits astride the parish line.Jefferson Parish engineers refused to allow this lunatic dredging on THEIR side of the canal, which is why only the Orleans side collapsed.A year before Katrina, people living along the drainage canals complained of salt water seeping into their yards, killing plants.To a COMPETENT,HONEST engineer this a clear sign that something was dangerously wrong with the levee foundations.But the Barthelemy "engineers" swept it under the rug,telling people that they were "imagining things".

And as for blaming those who wouldn't evacuate,If one thing was proved, it is that evacuating a city this size IS NOT PRACTICAL.New Orleans could and should have been an impregnable fortress against hurricanes.The vast bulk of the misery caused by Barthelemy's Flood was the destruction of the homes,and LIVES of the "survivors",who now have to live,or rather EXIST in this horror.The empty city was picked clean by looters despite the presence of thousands of police and National Guard,which shows that it is the PEOPLE who are the real crime deterrents.Telling people,"Get out, let the hurricane and the looters destroy your homes and businesses,and we will give you sardine can trailers to live in" is typical of the garbage we hear from the government.


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