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Ironically, Trouble the Water, a film about Hurricane Katrina with Danny Glover as one of the executive producers, made it’s national debut this weekend as Louisiana braced itself for Hurricane Gustav.

This year the local and national authorities did all they could to do things right, but in the documentary the audience sees what went terribly wrong three years ago. The film features a unique account which garnered accolades as this year’s Grand Jury Prize winner of 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

It is a powerful story of Hurricane Katrina evacuees Kimberly and Scott Roberts. An aspiring rap artist, Kimberly turns her new camera on herself and her community of the 9th ward on the day before one of the five most deadly storms in American history. Like so many others in the 9th ward, the luxury of affording to leave the 9th ward eludes the Roberts.

Instead, while making preparations for the incoming weather, Kimberly declares that she going to make a documentary about the hurricane. The footage includes their preparation for the storm, the rising of the water while fleeing to the attic of their home and acts of heroism.

Directors Tia Lessen and Carl Deal (producers of Fahrenheit 911 and Bowling for Columbine) were ready to shut down production and start volunteering, but continued with the filming after they were approached by the Roberts at an Alexandria Red Cross shelter on day four of the shoot. For the Roberts, it was life one week after evacuating New Orleans. The meeting would redirect the film and open up a story that helps to not only make sense of this particular disaster, but of issues lingering in America.

More than a compilation of footage from the news, recordings by the documentarians and the Roberts’ footage, Kimberly has a very raw and real way of being entertaining. Her personality is big. Her past is checkered. She will quote Scripture in one minute and utter curse words in the next.

Trouble the Water is a unique gem and an excellent contribution to American history telling. Visit the Trouble the Water website for more information.

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