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Frontline: The Storm
Frontline The Storm
Directors: Martin Smith, Marcela Gaviria
Genres: Television, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2006     1hr 0min

investigates the political storm surrounding the devastation of America's Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina. Veteran FRONTLINE producer/reporter Martin Smith will lead a team to ask hard questions about the decisions leading...  more »


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Movie Details

Directors: Martin Smith, Marcela Gaviria
Creators: Ben McCoy, Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria
Genres: Television, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 08/29/2006
Original Release Date: 01/17/1983
Theatrical Release Date: 01/17/1983
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Unanswered questions, the blame game, and dysfunctional gove
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 08/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Two years after Hurricane Katrina, painful memories and a lack of sensible answers about bureaucratic failures are still fresh in many minds. Frontline attempts to discover what went wrong and where we stand today in relation to being prepared for when the next major disaster strikes.

This program covers a surprisingly large amount of ground in its one hour run and during this time period, there is no shortage of finger pointing and blame going on between key individuals and agencies that were interviewed regarding their involvement in the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The foremost culprit, as might be expected (and rightly so), is FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).

To understand FEMA better, a historical timeline is presented here that shows what led up to its inception in 1979 during the Carter presidency. It then illustrates the questionable leadership under the Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr. presidencies. It's not a very pretty picture.

An examination of FEMA activity after the 9-11 terrorist attacks showed that it functioned well, surprisingly enough, but this was an exception to the rule in its tainted history of incompetence. The Department of Homeland Security was eventually formed and FEMA was one of 22 federal agencies that got encompassed by this controversial event. This basically shattered any hope for a productive FEMA in the future.

Communications breakdowns were glaring after Hurricane Katrina and a later segment of the program explores this accident that was waiting to happen. Even today there is evidence that individual states have done little to improve disaster management policies even though they have received federal funds to make necessary changes.

`Frontline: The Storm' is a comprehensive and searing production for the most part, in my opinion. It doesn't cover all the angles and can't possibly answer every single question regarding the Hurricane Katrina fiasco but it is solid investigative reporting and it makes for a high quality documentary.