Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Trouble the Water
I've been thinking about posting something about this movie for awhile, but I just haven't had the right words, and I've been thinking that with the upcoming 4 year anniversary of Katrina, now is a perfect time to ask you to do what you need to do to obtain and watch this movie.
And then yesterday I picked up the August 2009 edition of Where Y'at ( a local NOLA monthly mag), and there is a great review of the movie by Drew Platt. Y'all know how I'm not one to reinvent the wheel, so some of his comments:
"The first thing that attracted me to this documentary was obviously seeing the storm through another’s eyes. However, when I watched the film I realized it was about much more than that. It’s about the moral obligations one deals with when a disaster occurs. You realize you must help yourself but it’s also important to help those around you. The courage and determination shown by the film’s leading lady, Kimberly, is nothing short of astounding. With her supportive husband Scott at her side, Kimberly sees a chance to start again. In a scene where she raps with one of her recordings, she totally vents all the feelings she has kept inside in order to help the people around her. This scene starts innocently enough but it will sneak up on you. . . and when it hits, it hits hard.
Trouble the Water is a film that will truly stand the test of time not only for its historic importance but also for how it beautifully captures the human condition and what we can adapt to when it comes to our home and our families. "
No, I'm not making excuses for people who looted big-screen TV's. Those of you that know me know that I'm much more on the "get a damn job" end of the social responsibility spectrum. But existing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina changed me. It made me find some empathy that I didn't know I had. And this movie sort of congealed that empathy into something I can define and hold onto better.
Please watch this movie. And when you do, open your mind and think not only the events in this movie, but the world-view in general from the perspective of someone like Kim. Crack-addict mother dead when she was 13, everyone around her dropping out of school, no one in her known world "getting out" of the poverty cycle, so it doesn't even necessarily occur to her as an option.
Can you assume how YOU would react if you had no education, no support system, and no resources? I mean REALLY no resources. What if you weren't only taking care of yourself, but little kids, old people, people who are sick, people who are scared? Do you know what fear is? Yeah, you've slept a few nights with no electricity, and it sucked big-time, but have you slept a few nights with no electricity, in a city you've never been out of, with no idea how you were going to get food, medicine, or basics like TOILET PAPER, SOAP.....or even clean water, hearing shots in the night that's unimaginably dark? Would you get angry and perhaps lose your composure if you saw that someone, especially someone charged with the duty of protecting citizens, had the resources to literally pull you out of the water and wouldn't? Would you worry about property destruction, or would you break out the windows of the third story classroom of a high school you found your way into to get some relief from the 100+ degree heat and NO air movement at all? What would you do about a bathroom for those kids, elderly, and sick who hadn't had proper nutrition or hydration, and maybe medication for days when there's no running water? How would you set up that classroom to get away from the rats, snakes, ants, and spiders that were also trying to find dry spots?
No these aren't pretty questions, but they are questions that I think many, many people don't think about. And I understand that. I was flooded in my apartment in New Orleans for 3 days in 1995. I had seen a million floods on the TV News, but until then, it never OCCURRED to me how FILTHY that water is, and that every rodent and insect that lives in the ground or under the ground is scrambling for safety too.
So this post is long enough. But really. Watch it. Think about it. K?