As the world watched in horror, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on Aug 29th, 2005. Declaring that the city had avoided the worst of the storm, city and state officials were caught off-guard when the levees that had been designed to protect low-lying areas of the city from flooding were breached, and the 9th Ward District was inundated.
Like many who watched the unfolding drama on television news, director Spike Lee was shocked not only by the scale of the disaster, but by the slow, inept and disorganised response of the emergency and recovery effort.
To give this extraordinary account, Lee interviewed nearly 100 people - Governor Kathleen Blanco, Mayor Ray Nagin, residents Phyllis Montana LeBlanc, Kimberly Polk, Shelton 'Shakespeare' Alexander and Rev Williams, activists Al Sharpton and Harry Belafonte and musicians Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and Kanye West to name but a few.
This intimate portrait of New Orleans in the wake of the destruction tells the heartbreaking personal stories of those who endured the harrowing ordeal and survived to tell the tale of misery, despair and triumph.