Search - Big Easy to Big Empty: The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans on DVD

Big Easy to Big Empty: The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans
Big Easy to Big Empty The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans
Genres: Documentary
NR     2007     0hr 30min

"A standing ovation. Extraordinary. Astonishing." - Gil Noble, ABC TV — "Greg Palast is America's best investigative reporter." - Randi Rhodes, Air America — August 29th 2006 marked the one year anniversary of the devast...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Disinformation
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/05/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 0hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

What you didn't know, but should, about New Orleans and Hurr
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 07/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This story is filmed at the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in August of 2006 and it explores 3 basic themes in its short run. It begins with a look at the evacuation of New Orleans and continues on to why the massive flooding occurred the way it did and eventually ends up investigating why previous residents don't return home.

Much of this material was not reported by mainstream media and was kept quiet by the government for reasons that will become very clear shortly. Starting off with evacuation, the Bush administration hired a private contractor, Innovative Emergency Management (IEM), to accomplish the planning of evacuating New Orleans of which they were paid a half a million dollars. Due to their substandard efforts, approximately 127,000 people were left behind and many died in the ensuing storm and floods. Greg Palast actually goes to the IEM headquarters in Baton Rouge and finds that no evidence of an evacuation plan really existed and gets no cooperation or answers from company executives. Upon further research, he does find that IEM makes large donations to the Republican Party though. From the words of a former city councilman of New Orleans in this segment, two words describe this entire mess rather distinctly - `Reckless Negligence'.

Taking a close look at the flooding of New Orleans and the poor levee situation reveals some interesting and disturbing information also. When Greg Palast visited the Louisiana State University (they have some of the best hurricane experts in the nation), he talked to a weather expert there that created a superior evacuation plan that FEMA and Washington refused to look at before it was too late. He also determined that, long before the hurricane hit, the levee height was too low and they would probably fail altogether in a major storm. Again, the government turned a blind eye. And finally, FEMA waited until long after the levees collapsed to notify the New Orleans emergency operations center.

The third portion of this story may end up being the most inflammatory of all due to its sinister implications. Upon returning to New Orleans, many residents arrived at their former apartment buildings to find the doors and windows sealed with metal plates and some were even warned off the premises by law enforcement officials. Mind you, these are dwellings that were never touched by storm water or flooding and many of them are still in pristine condition. The fact of the matter is this - these residences are on prime real estate property between the downtown New Orleans business district and the French Quarter. It seems that for years, the city and speculators wanted these people out of this area and Hurricane Katrina was the excuse they needed. For all intents and purposes, it appears that someone wants to transform the climate of New Orleans to a degree that will benefit some but will eventually end up hurting many more.

`Big Easy to Big Empty', although too short in my opinion, is a thought provoking and disquieting documentary for the most part. Even though there isn't any debate or counter-point shown from the government's side, you wonder if it is really needed knowing their lackluster efforts in helping people after this disaster occurred. Furthermore, it seems that Greg Palast may have been right on the money with all this information here and he was starting to make Washington nervous. So much so that after the first broadcast of this film, the Department of Homeland Security tried to file a criminal complaint against him in the form of `filming critical infrastructure' but the charge was later dropped. It really makes you wonder.
Brief, but good journalism
Tim | 10/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Greg Palast is a great journalist, and he uncovers a few things in here that I didn't even know, that have not been publicized at all (such as the contract to come up with an evacuation plan that was never delivered) - and I live in New Orleans.

However, in the feature interview (separate from the documentary), Palast claims that the New Orleans housing projects are 'wonderful' and so forth and I can't believe anyone who has lived here (he has) would say such a thing. The housing projects in NOLA are some of the poorest, most insane, despair ridden places in the US, and extremely violent.

Criminal Actions by the Bush Administration
G. Powell | Seattle, WA USA | 08/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Representative Conyers where are you?

This video shows yet again how the poor are being scr*wed again. First by being left to drown in a city as it flooded. Second by being forced out of their homes by a government in action. It's not clear from the video whether the 9th ward will ever be re-occupied. Last I heard the plans were being drawn based on how far under water each area is. But from the video, it's clear that close in public housing has been condemned merely because it's close in and therefore expensive real estate and not because it was water damaged in anyway.

Greed rules in New Orleans.."