Last night HBO aired the first two parts of Spike Lee’s new documentary chronicling Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans. Afterward, blogger after blogger put aside the usual snark and pounded out posts through tear-filled eyes.
“I’m still crying,” writes Emanuel. “Not sobbing but tears are running down my face because of the empathy evoked by the first two acts of Spike Lee’s documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. This film has left me angry, sad, frustrated, empty, sympathetic, afraid, embarrassed and overwhelmed by the levels of human stories told in this documentary. I’m so wound up that I can’t sleep.”
He was hardly alone.
“That shit was hard,” writes Lizz Straight. “For all ya’ll who know me know me, ya’ll know my grandma was born and raised in the N.O. with all her 12 brothers and sisters and my family located to Biloxi, MS before I was born. So all my roots are there. It was a hard hard thing to sit through it. … THAT had me in tears.”
“I ask for full amnesty on any typos in this posting because I am seriously shaking as I type this,” writes Soulfull of Thoughts. “Thus far, Spike has done an excellent job of following/capturing the essence of what happened in the Gulf Coast. As I watched, I didn’t want to cry. Not because I was insensitive to what I was watching, but more because I didn’t want to miss anything. Instead I let the tears go their separate ways as they rolled down my neck, where they pooled, forming their own lakes.”
“I can’t stop crying,” writes Vanessa: Unplugged. “When the Levees Broke exposes the rampant disregard for the loss of life in New Orleans. … To watch the pain and frustration as it happened was just too much for me. I’d heard about the bodies in the water and along the streets but to see them in the movie was too painful.”
“Okay so I’m done crying now,” writes Ms Feisty. “My head hurts, my heart is wrenched apart, and I’m completely exhausted. And I’m probably going to do it to myself again tomorrow.”
“The movie is a testimony, a witness, through which we learn just a few of hundreds of thousands of horrific stories of the people of New Orleans,” writes Cue Tip. “It is immensely difficult to watch, with the feelings of helplessness and anger of a year ago regurgitating into my mouth and seeing again the suffering, the bloated bodies, the despair on people’s faces. If you are not in tears throughout … there’s something wrong with you.”