Impact New Orleans--But Little Information Re Other Regions
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 12/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Aired in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this National Geograph program does an exceptional job of detailing the disaster, both natural and man-made, that overcame the city of New Orleans. Unfortunately, it also does an extremely poor job of describing the disaster that struck south Mississippi.
In terms of natural disaster, New Orleans was actually on the weaker western side of the storm. It took a glancing rather than a direct blow from Hurricane Katrina, a fact that is never really noted by this documentary. If New Orleans "dodged the bullet" in terms of natural disaster, however, it was not so fortunate in terms of man-made disaster. The levee system, long neglected by state and federal officals, failed under the weight of water the storm piled against it. Situated below sea level, New Orleans began to fill water like a great bowl.
INSIDE HURRICANE KATRINA does an excellent job of presenting the details of both the levee failure and the chaotic local, state, and federal response, a response that effectively made a very bad situation incredibly worse. Communications failures, sloppy planning, and arrogant attitudes probably cost more lives in New Orleans than the hurricane itself; the portrait is disturbing, to say the least, and you are left with a great desire to give everyone from mayor to president a good swift kick in the pants.
As previously noted, however, INSIDE KATRINA largely fails in its consideration of the Mississippi gulf coast, which was in the northeast and strongest quadrant of the storm. Hurricane Katrina would unleash a storm surge of thirty feet that caused more than 90 percent of all shorefront structures, no matter how well built, to fail; large tracts of metropolitan districts flooded while relentless winds and hurricane-spawned tornados devastated inland areas, and hurricane force winds were felt as far inland as the state capital of Jackson.
Just as New Orleans and southeastern Louisiana endured a largely incompetent first-response from state and federal teams, so too did Mississippi, where FEMA authorities feared rioting due to their own poor planning in everything from food supplies to emergency housing (and indeed there was some rioting in inland cities, where citizens were largely unprepared for Katrina's far-reaching impact); to Mississippi's credit, however, these failures were not further complicated by the political bickering that tended to characterize events in Louisiana.
If Mississippi receives little attention from this documentary, Alabama receives still less--even though Mobile, one of the gulf's major port cities, experienced some of the worst flooding in its history. Simply put, Hurricane Katrina was too large in scope for a documentary running slightly less than two hours. The south Mississippi television station WLOX has created a similar documentary that focuses on the Mississippi coast. Titled KATRINA: SOUTH MISSISSIPPI'S STORY, the DVD includes a two-hour documentary as well as four hours of extended footage; at present, however, it is available only through WLOX itself. Those interested in hurricanes in general or Hurricane Katrina in particular would do well to seek it out as a companion to this National Geographic production.
Gary Taylor, Amazon Reviewer
And Resident of Biloxi, Mississippi
In Memory of James and Shamsi Hyre, killed in Hurricane Katrina
29 August 2005"
Remembering Hurricane Katrina
Jeffery Watkins | New Orleans, LA | 04/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I myself was a resident of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Having just moved there in January of 2005 to start graduate school, I learned to love everything about the city (with the exception of the crime, traffic, and racial indifference). Literally, everything about it--the culture, the music, the people--I loved it. Even with the things I didn't appreciate, I was rather content and happy to be there. Fast-forward almost nine months later, I was watching the place I lived become submerged in polluted water from a relatives home in Alabama. This DVD has become an essential scrapbook for me.
"National Geographic - Inside Hurricane Katrina" is quite possibly the best comprehensive coverage of the devestation that unfolded out right now. To its downfall, it fails to extensively cover some of the horrible things that occured in Mississippi and Alabama. With that said, since I lived in the Crecent City, at the time of the storm, my mind was only focussed on that. Thus the reason I liked this DVD so much. I would appreciate another companion disc to solely talk about what happened in the coastal regions of Mississippi and Alabama. Two DVDs wouldn't even fully satisfy what happened because of this storm.
The great thing about this disc is it timelines what went down from the start of the storm to its final dissapation. It doesn't play the politcal game either, this documentary points fingers and shows flaws in all levels of governement, not just federal, but state and local as well, which probably had more to do with the destruction that took place afterward than Washington. Fair and balanced, this DVD presents that facts and as it happened. Having seen the post-Katrina New Orleans with my very own eyes, I believe the film makers had people like me in mind when they made this."
Katrina up close and personal
R. Esposito | New Jersey | 03/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After having spent the time between Christmas and New Year's on a mission trip to the 9th Ward, I was curious to see photos etc of the area during the storm and immedidatley thereafer. This DVD showed many areas of New Orelans and Mississippi and the devestation left behind. It gave a good background of the government's response (or lack thereof), however, it seemed to use the same photo's over and over again, instead of new ones. Overall I found it very informative and would recommend."
Substandard look at a powerful event
Bob Young | 02/12/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This could've have been so much more, instead it is just a flashy piece of news footage repeated over and over....very repetitive. Spike Lee's "When the Levee's Broke" is much more substantive."