When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts ★★★★½

One of the greatest documentaries of all time.
Leave it to Spike Lee to turn what could have been a standard non-fiction film chronicling the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina into a sprawling, operatic and deeply moving examination of race relations throughout American culture, history, society and politics. Instead of simply focusing on the natural disaster, Lee casts his net far and wide, encompassing the roots of New Orleans slave trade, the famous musical culture and the political backdrop that allowed such an inexcusably inadequate governmental response to occur. For all of his efforts, he has created a film simultaneously epic and intimate, factual and personal, enraged and hopeful. A brilliantly realised portrait of a community neglected or otherwise mercilessly beaten down by the powers that be- truly Spike at his finest.