This very magnificent 2008 documentary, which has been acknowledged by various film institutions and award giving body, humbly portrays the true to life ordeal when the natural disaster Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans. It is all about the redemptive story of an aspiring artist, Kimberly Rivers Roberts, and Scott Roberts who overcame the “troubled waters” and fought a new life beginning. They fought against man and nature in this story.
After the disaster, the nightly news showed various robberies and lootings. The situation was hardly managed by the government. The two heroes have witnessed and portrayed the real, inside story with candor and truth. Most of the problems stemmed not from the disaster but from the indifference of the US government in helping the refugees. It is also a story of community resiliency as shown by this husband and wife and their neighborhood.
The main goal of the video is to illustrate the real life story of the ordinary people who were victimized by the natural disaster and the ineptitude of the government. It also aims to explore the issues of race, class, and the relationship of government to its people. Part of the realization attributed to this depiction is the real sad fact that racial indifference and ethnic inequality still persist, especially in the face of a natural disaster.
There are various biases however, since the point of view of the documentary are the underprivileged classes of the American society. It failed to assume that the US government has first experienced this kind of a natural disaster, in such magnitude, and that its failures are not only to those who are underprivileged. The shortcomings of the government are also experienced even by the majority of the White people. It failed to show that the government was ill equipped because this is the first time in history that this massive flooding happened.
The major contradiction to the readings, as depicted in the video, is the preferences of the government in helping the casualties and victims. While generally, there was ineptitude, the video reinforced the idea that the inadequacy was intended for the refugees and the colored people. For instance, they portrayed that after the hurricane, there was a shabby home where one body bloats (The New York Times, p. 1). This is not a case for the Blacks alone. So many Whites were also found dead.
The main strength of this documentary is its raw depiction of the disaster and how the refugees were victimized. However, it is limited to their households and the video did not generalize the hurricane’s effects to the whole New Orleans community. If I would direct this video, I will not change anything. The video has stood out because it saw a fresh point of view, different from the rest of the other common stories. It is uniquely a husband and wife’s video and their didactic take on the event as it unfolded to their own eyes. Changing it would make it crafty and less significant.
The video reinforced my previous thinking that there is no real equality in this world. Each of us becomes a victim by Mother Nature and by our own neighbors and communities. Interestingly, our own world views can also victimize us because if we keep on believing we are the only victims, then we are doomed.
The New York Times. “Trouble the Water.” The New York Times Website. Accessed on 18 November 2012 < http://movies.nytimes.com/2008/08/22/movies/22trou.html?_r=0>.