Sunday, August 20, 2006

More on the Lee doc...

Another note or two regarding the Spike Lee documentary:

Our friend Cynthia Joyce has a nice piece in Salon about attending the New Orleans premiere:

People had been talking for weeks about how the New Orleans premiere of Spike Lee's much anticipated Hurricane Katrina documentary, "When the Levees Broke," was sold out, so it was a little eerie when we arrived at New Orleans Arena Wednesday night to find that fewer than half of the 14,000 who'd reportedly snatched up the free tickets actually showed up for the event. Maybe they'd heard there would be no alcohol sold in the arena. Certainly Lee's ambitious film -- sweeping in its scope, emotionally intense and a challenge to watch in one sitting -- could drive just about anyone to drink. It's also possible that all those people who didn't show up don't live here anymore. The new New Orleans can be a pretty lonely town sometimes.

Which is partly why watching a Katrina documentary with thousands of other local residents -- certain to be a gut-wrenching experience -- also carried with it the possibility of catharsis. All summer long, apprehension about the first anniversary of "The Storm" (First? Really? Why does everyone look 10 years older already?) has been steadily building. With so many people still assessing their losses, coming up with a meaningful commemoration can be difficult. I know that 11 months ago I would never have predicted that I might be sitting in the arena across the street from the Superdome -- eating nachos, no less -- eager to watch more footage of what I thought I'd witnessed too much of already....

[Continue reading here. You might have to get past an ad to get to the piece, but it's worth it.]

Also, here's an interview with Lee on NPR's "News & Notes."