Last night (Sunday) HBO aired the first half of Spike Lee and Sam Pollard’s must-watch sequel to their When the Levees Broke. The second half of this great documentary–If God Is Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise–airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST.

The film deals thoroughly and sharply with the ongoing catastrophe in New Orleans (with a glance at Haiti), and the ethnic cleansing–that is not too strong a term–that’s been taking place there all along.

Below is Newsweek’s interview with Lee about his film.


Spike Lee: “We Knew the Story Was Not Done”
By Joshua Alston, Newsweek

Spike Lee discusses the making of his new documentary about the ongoing impact of Hurricane Katrina and the state of New Orleans today.

As the saga of New Orleans’s rebirth continues, so does director Spike Lee’s documentation of it. If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, which premiered Aug. 23 on HBO, is his second four-hour documentary about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, following 2006’s Peabody Award-winning When the Levees Broke. He spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Joshua Alston. Excerpts:

Did you plan from the outset to revisit New Orleans sometime after you did When the Levees Broke?

We knew we were going to revisit [it] before we were even finished with When the Levees Broke. We knew the story was not done, not that it’s going to be done any time soon; we wanted to revisit it, and HBO agreed with me. It was just a matter of determining when we would return, and we felt like five was a good number, so we decided to do something that could air just prior to the fifth anniversary.

Read more.

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