Thursday, September 18, 2008


Trouble the Water

I’m a writer, so I can’t help analyzing and sometimes over-analyzing films and books. Because of this built-in tendency toward critiquing, I often come away from stories feeling empty handed. So, when this is not the case, I’m energized and somehow renewed, which is how I feel after seeing Trouble the Water. This film was educational on so many levels. First, I have tremendous respect for musicians who communicate effectively through their art. Black Kold Modina’s “Amazing” decoded the core power of rap for me. I now perceive rap music, at its best, as the modern blues. Blues singers are storytellers. Rappers are storytellers as long as their content stands on substance. Something about the name, Black Kold Modina, makes me think of the name, Son House. Black Kold Modina—that sister’s story comes from her soul.

Trouble the Water is a hero’s journey in the Joseph Campbell sense of the term. Not only did Kim and Scott, the protagonists, weather the storm, they filmed it from its middle. They showed respect to those who disrespected them by “following orders” that would have broken lesser human beings. Their relationship with each other, and the ones they formed with others are nothing less then exemplary.

One must ask how many others in their shoes—their bare feet robbed of leather by nature’s wrath at the folly of the greedy and those who have trespassed on the crossroads, never looking back over their shoulders to ‘fess up to the wrong turn that makes anything go—could walk through that life “with ease and grace,” as I heard a reverend say.


September 2005, New Orleans Louisiana, a massive hurricane lashes ashore. The name Katrina becomes synonymous with a lethal form of benign neglect, leaving the poorest of the poor victim to the rising waters and plummeting hope. All of the wheels of the federal government grind to a halt leaving people stranded and alone. Bodies float in the fetid water, shelter is no where to be found, and promised services evaporate into the swollen rain clouds. The Bush administration waits in the wings,FEMA is immobilized by the volume of suffering. Slowly unlikely heroes emerge. In the 9th ward a group of survivors were determined they were not going to go out like that. On the scene footage draws us into their lives -- and it won't let go!

Go see this beautifully layered, brooding, thought provoking film, this is some of the best film making I have seen in years! Well rounded compelling characters wound in a tight gripping story.

Thanks to RR for this link.

1 comment:

  1. Saw this movie today. Loved how it so clearly shows the power of positive in what is clearly the largest failure of humanity in my life time.


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