Four years after Spike Lee’s Peabody-winning documentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Lee continues his efforts to document life after Hurricane Katrina. His new documentary, If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise highlights events that have occurred since the original four-part documentary aired in 2006, and it will debut on HBO August 23 and 24 at 8 p.m.
This time, Lee uses the twin spectacles of triumph and anguish—the 2010 Super Bowl championship and the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf—as backdrops for his exploration of more day-to-day concerns: the city’s economy, health care, violence, the scarcity of affordable housing for those in poverty, and the redevelopment of the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish. Former Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former Mayor Ray Nagin, historian Douglas Brinkley, activist actors Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, Houston mayor Anisse Parker, and community organizer Tanya Harris are among those who speak to Lee for the film.
“The story is not over yet,” Lee says. “I’m proud HBO has given me the opportunity to tell the stories of these great Americans and that people will see how strong their spirits are.”