Spike Lee's Katrina joint

Posted by R. Neal

Spike Lee is set to produce a documentary on Katrina for HBO called "When the Levee Broke." There's no word on what direction the documentary will take, but one can assume it will explore the racial dimensions of the catastrophe.

There is also speculation that it will touch on some of the conspiracy theories. The speculation appears to be based on these remarks:

The poor, black neighbourhoods of New Orleans suffered particularly badly after the devastating hurricane struck at the end of August. During an appearance on CNN this week, to promote his memoir That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It, Lee was asked about the conspiracy theories that the largely black Ninth ward of the city had been deliberately flooded by authorities.

He said: "I don't put anything past the United States government. I don't find it too far-fetched that they tried to displace all the black people out of New Orleans."

I'm not sure one can conclude from that remark that Spike Lee's documentary will be about conspiracies.

Regardless, there are plenty of rumors and speculation about what happened (most of it pretty far out there), and what is happening in the aftermath (some of it not so far-fetched). One thing is certain. Government at all levels, and the media, have done a pretty poor job of rumor control, and in fact have helped spread misinformation that in some cases hindered the recovery effort. It's no wonder people speculate.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to Spike Lee's documentary. He's a gifted filmmaker and my guess is it will be moving, controversial, and revealing.