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Monday, October 13, 2008

Trouble The Water- A Documentary that Touches the Soul

Today, if there was one word to describe an emotion I felt, it was indecisive. I could not decide what movie I wanted to review. I kept going back between the movie "Choke", and the Documentary film, "Trouble the Water". I was at first, reluctant to see Trouble the Water.

I thought the movie was going to be all about politics,and not interesting to watch. So, I took some time to think and pray about which movie to see. In the end, Trouble the Water won out.

I am so happy and extremely thankful that was led to see this movie, because it was engaging, emotional, and educational.

Trouble the Water is a Documentary film, which gives viewers a big taste of the experience that New Orleans Lower 9th Ward residents Kimberly Roberts and her husband Scott went through during Hurricane Katrina. The film brings you in with the warm and honest narration done mostly by Kimberly. Kimberly is a young woman in her 20's, an aspiring Hip-Hop artist, outspoken and a friend to her neigbors. She is blunt about the people she knows, and is also caring; she loves the children and even gets one of the neigborhood girls to talk about what she thinks of the coming storm. As the movie progresses, you can't help but love Kim; she is the friend that you would love to hang out with.Kim also has a strong faith in God, and doesn't let go of this even when Hurricane Katrina is at its worst. Also engaging in this movie are the friends who Kim has. One friend, Kim and her husband met when the storm hit. They ended up forming a bond with this man, and the group became an extended family. Another aspect of this movie that will take you in is the team spirit and love that Kim and her family had for others. They were willing to take neigbors and any one they knew to shelter once the storm ended. This aspect of the film to me really showed how it doesn't hurt to give someone a helping hand when they are in need.

Emotions ran deep when I watched Trouble the Water. Their were times I wanted to literally scream, cry( which I did), and just fight. Ok, first Ill start with the screaming .When I saw how insensitive the government was being toward the Hurricane Katrina victims by responding late to emergency calls, denying shelter to residents who had lost their homes, and also by the genuine lack of sympathy officials showed, I was truly angered. I couldn't understand how people could treat each other like that. Also, this was not just a storm,but a disatrous Hurricane ( images of the storm shown during the movie really show how deep the waters got; they are indescribable). The part of the movie that brought tears to my eyes was when Kimberly talked about her late mother. Kimberly's mother had passed, and Kim went through some tough life experiences. What Kim decided to do with her life was to be a strong woman; she wanted to make her mother proud. When you see this scene, which features Kim holding her moms picture it will really move you. Lastly, I felt like fighting during parts of movie due to once again, inhumane treatement, in my opinion, of the Lower 9th Ward residents. One of Kim's friends is denied FEMA assistance due to him not having had a legal place of residence, her cousin, who was in jail during the storm was not given food and adequate care when the storm hit, and one resident called the emergency help line and basically was told their was no help coming to him.

All of these elements really angered me. However, while these incidents angered me,I was also educated in a big way by this movie..

Even though Hurricane Katrina was on the news and coverage of the storm was timely, when I saw Trouble the Water I was educated even more. I learned how the people who did not have the means to leave New Orleans, were treated during this storm. Elderly people who could not get out of their homes, waiting for rescue which came late; the hard reality of having to start over ( Kim and her husband moved out of New Orleans to Memphis, but it was hard for Scott to find a good job. Scott and Kim had to move back home) and also the military's stance , what it did to help residents during the storm. This education was truly an eye opener for me because it made me see even clearly the importance of voting; I know now what kind of person I want to see and the kind of person I do not want to see in office. Finally this movie educated me on the treatment of the poor in this country. One moving scene in the movie shows the aftermath of

Katrina, and how one city official is excited about New Orleans moving forward. She is seen dancing to a promotional video made for tourists. While I almost started dancing with her, the camera sat me down when it showed how the Lower 9th Ward is still suffering. Pictures of still destroyed houses and rubble. I thought to myself, wow.

Overall, Trouble the Water is an excellent film. I wanted to call people I knew and tell them that if anything, go see this movie. Kim and her family and friends really peserved during Hurricane Katrina. It was gripping to see in the beginning of the movie how simple and carefree Kim and her friends were living life before the storm: laughing, joking. Kim taped all of this. I got a chill up my spine, because I knew that life would change for them when that storm hit. Also, this movie is excellent because it moves at a pace that makes you want to see more: I wanted to know how Kim's rap CD turned out( she and her husband now have their own rap production company), find out if Kim and Scott would have kids( I read today that Kim did have a baby, and on a special day: Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. day!) In closing, this is a film everyone should see: you will see yourself somehow in it , make you want to persevere (example, at the end Scott gets a great job and loves what he is doing) and importantly, it shows the power of love, family, and friendship.

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