Lee Recalls Katrina Sadness
Film-maker SPIKE LEE knew he had to act for the victims of Hurricane Katrina after watching the horrific disaster hit the US Gulf Coast, from thousands of miles (kilometres) away in Italy. The MALCOLM X director was attending the Venice Film Festival last summer (AUG05) when the hurricane hit Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, and famously flooded wide parts of New Orleans. Lee decided to make a four-hour documentary WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS for US cable channel HBO to celebrate the spirit of New Orleans residents. He says, "I was just really mad and sad. This is going to be a major moment in American history, and I want to do something about it. "What I was really amazed by was the spirit of the people of New Orleans. "Another thing I found amazing was the humour. They're profane. We wanted to record the raw feelings of these people. That's what makes New Orleans the most unique city in America, and that's tough for me to say, being from New York." Lee takes the opportunity to blast the country's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for their slow response to the natural disaster. He says, "Volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods. It's not just New Orleans. "We should be scared because if FEMA - you saw what they did. Pray to God you don't have to depend on FEMA. This stuff affects all Americans."