Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, this astonishingly powerful documentary is at once horrifying and exhilarating. Directed and produced by Fahrenheit 9/11and Bowling for Columbine producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, Trouble the Watertakes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen. The film opens the day before the storm makes landfall—just blocks away from the French Quarter but far from the New Orleans that most tourists knew. Kimberly Rivers Roberts, an aspiring rap artist, is turning her new video camera on herself and her 9th Ward neighbors trapped in the city. “It’s going to be a day to remember,” Kim declares. As the hurricane begins to rage and the floodwaters fill their world and the screen, Kim and her husband Scott continue to film their harrowing retreat to higher ground and the dramatic rescues of friends and neighbors. The filmmakers document the couple’s return to New Orleans, the devastation of their neighborhood and the appalling repeated failures of government. Weaving an insider’s view of Katrina with a mix of verité and in- your-face filmmaking, Trouble the Wateris a redemptive tale of self-described street hustlers who become heroes—two unforgettable people who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning.
- Tia Lessin, Carl Deal
- Kimberly Roberts, Scott Roberts
Essential, unique viewing: a stunning experience of the hurricane and its aftermath, rooted in immediate personal response and emotions that encapsulate the full national catastrophe.Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, 06.24.2010
Trouble the Water, along with Spike Lee's extraordinary four-hour epic, When the Levees Broke, remains one of the most eloquent records we have of a tragedy that brought out some of the most impressively alive men and women in New ODavid Denby, New Yorker, 06.24.2010
Is there more to be said about this national catastrophe? Yes, definitely, as the engrossing documentary Trouble the Water shows in just about every frame.Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, 06.24.2010
Filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal have fashioned a deeply moving story of resilience and redemption.Joanne Kaufman, Wall Street Journal, 06.24.2010