Spike Lee Charts New Orleans’ Struggle Against Hurricanes, Neglect and Oil

Spike Lee Charts New Orleans’ Struggle Against Hurricanes, Neglect and Oil

Spike Lee Charts New Orleans’ Struggle Against Hurricanes, Neglect and Oil

Spike Lee follows up his 2006 masterpiece on post-Hurricane Katrina destruction.


When Spike Lee completed his Emmy Award-winning documentary, "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," which charted the rebirth of the Big Easy following Hurricane Katrina, he knew his work wasn’t finished. Now, just days before the five-year anniversary of the hurricane, Lee has rolled out a follow-up to his 2006 documentary.

With "If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise," which aired in two parts Monday and Tuesday on HBO, Lee explores the resilient spirit of New Orleans residents, the struggle to find or rebuild affordable housing and the patterns of violent crime that have plagued the city for years. He also dips into the landslide of problems created or exacerbated by BP’s oil spill. "The people of the Gulf Coast feel they’ve been victimized by greed—again," Lee says. "The Army Corps cut corners and built the faulty levees. Oil companies and gas companies are jeopardizing the barrier islands and the wetlands. They too are trying to cut corners, and 11 people are dead because of it."

—Carrie Battan

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