Archive for Trouble the Water

Trouble the Water Tonight at BAM

Posted in film, Guide to What's Good, People of Color with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I can’t rave about Trouble the Water enough. I have been on the journey with this film for several months. From the time that I first saw it until now, interviewing the filmmakers somewhere in between, writing an article about them and the film…let’s just say I am on the boat for the long haul with this one.

If you are in the New York City area, come to one of my favorite gem spots, The Brooklyn Academy of Music for either the 4:30, 6:50 or 9:30 screening.

This is what NY Mag and BAM have to say about the film:

Trouble the Water is ineradicably moving.” —New York Magazine

“Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, this astonishingly powerful documentary takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen. Brooklyn-based filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal tell the story of an aspiring rap artist and her husband, trapped in New Orleans by deadly floodwaters, who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning” BAM website

This is the beginning of what I said about it:

The human spirit, all toughness aside could not withstand this movie without tears of empathy, regret, boiling anger, growing conviction and then the commitment to respond. This feeling of good will, fueled by a desire to help, is something that filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal consistently refer to as what motivated them to bring their cameras to the gold coast and begin what would become, Trouble the Water. Long time collaborators with Michael Moore,  they experienced a similar impetus towards action after 9/11. Turning their cameras outwards towards their own Brooklyn neighborhood, they made a compelling short about the backlash of racism and unjust deportations which affected many Muslims at the time.  More

See it for the first time, see it again. Then talk about it with your friends, send me comments, see Spike Lee’s Katrina doco, remember that New Orleans is still in crisis.

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Trouble The Water Article Interview Tia Lessin and Carl Deal

Posted in film, Guide to What's Good with tags , , , , , , , on October 21, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Hello! My Trouble The Water article which features an interview that I did with the film’s directors Tia Lessin and Carl Deal is now available on line here.

If you have yet to see the movie, please do. It is a very inspiring narrative documentary about a heroic, yet humanistic couple who survived Hurricane Katrina, while aiding their neighbors in the lower 9th ward. This in an excerpt…read more!

“So many people lost everything, their homes and families.” Lessin said. “It is not exactly the time that you expect people to rise above it all, but the truth is that Kim and Scott lived in a community that had failed them all of their lives. They were used to having to be the first response for problems that were occurring in their community. The government had long since abandoned the lower ninth ward. At least a quarter century of right wing attacks on social services set the groundwork for the poverty in their community. So many of the basic things that our country is supposed to look out for, safety, health, environmental and market regulations, civil rights, had all fallen by the wayside. This was the trajectory of their lives.”

Indeed, the scenes that show Kim riding through the neighborhood, pre-storm, affirm her status as caring community member. She knows the names and stories of each neighbor, shop owner, and even homeless junkie. Memorably, she warns one such man to take shelter. Later the film viewer finds out that he was one of the many who died after being unable to leave the city. However, Kim herself, also speaks about the hardships she has endured at various times in life, which have led her to take desperate measures, including selling drugs. Aiding their neighbors and emerging as true leaders, seems to have catalyzed a process of continued change for the Roberts.

According to Deal, “This film was about perspective as much as anything, by stepping outside of their everyday world, Kim and Scott were able to look back in and see themselves in an enhanced manner. They could understand the better parts of themselves and by seeing things in this affirmative light, multiply the positives in their lives. They were the same people they had always been, except more self-assured and hopeful.”