Last night, Loki, the lovely Alexis and I ventured downtown in my trusty grey steed to attend the premiere of Spike Lee’s documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. All yesterday long, Loki and I tossed around the idea of attending only two hours of the event to not going altogether. Out of some sense of duty to New Orleans, reporting and abject curiosity, drive to the center of the action we did.
We got our first inkling of This Is A Bad Idea when we arrived at the corner of Loyola & Girod to find NOPD directing traffic and signs everywhere blaring “Event Parking $10.” It was 7:25pm, the movie was to start in five minutes and hundreds on foot were just descending on the New Orleans Arena. That’s when Loki and I looked at one another, decided that we were not in the mood to be herded and promptly donated my (free) tickets to a group of college students standing outside the parking area and broke free from premiere orbit. Wow, I’ve never seen a crowd like this at a Saints game.
The three of us had approached the movie with a feeling of dread, trepidation and responsibility. Did we really want to spend one-sixth of a day watching a documentary on the destruction of New Orleans with ~5000 other people suffering from the same post-traumatic stress? Did we want to watch a child, a hapless flood victim, get buried? Were we in the mood to watch a very intense Spike Lee documentary with a legion of people just itching to blame Katrina on one set of people or the other? Did we want to entertain more theories? No. We are angry enough.
Molly’s In The Market it was, and off we went. Talking about Scottish tartan, MOM’s ball, Under Odysseus and Midsummer Mardi Gras (and watching Siren Mae, Charlotte’s chihuahua-dachshund-terrier diva-dog, slurping down frozen coffees) was a lot more fun.
WDSU‘s News At 10 showed footage from the red carpet and interviews with Al Sharpton and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. HBO will show the movie in two parts on Monday and Tuesday nights; those of us who don’t get HBO can watch it online at a later date.
No offense to Spike or his documentary, but four hours of Katrina and event-logistics misery was just something in which I wasn’t willing to invest.
Update: A short yet more upbeat review of the movie by Spasticrobot