Trouble the Water

Drawn to Louisiana by the horrifying images of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath on TV, filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal were shooting at a Red Cross shelter in Alexandria when they encountered Scott and Kimberly Roberts, dirt-poor refugees from the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The couple had been unable to find a ride out of town as the storm approached, and with a videocam Kimberly had recorded heart-stopping footage of their neighborhood as the floodwaters rose. About 15 minutes of her tape have been incorporated into this powerful documentary, interspersed with news footage of President Bush and FEMA director Michael Brown posing and dissembling; the rest of the film follows the doggedly upbeat couple and their relatives in the weeks that follow, as they try to get help from callous and incompetent federal authorities. It's a damning indictment of a national disgrace, but it also reveals the incredible faith and resilience of people who have nothing to rely on but themselves. 96 min.

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