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Trouble the Water

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Carl Deal & Tia Lessin

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About the Movie

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and 2008 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature, this astonishingly powerful documentary is at once horrifying and exhilarating. Directed and produced by Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, Trouble the Water takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen. The film opens the day before the storm makes landfall—just blocks away from the French Quarter but far from the New Orleans that most tourists knew. Kimberly Rivers Roberts, an aspiring rap artist, is turning her new video camera on herself and her 9th Ward neighbors trapped in the city. “It’s going to be a day to remember,” Kim declares. As the hurricane begins to rage and the floodwaters fill their world and the screen, Kim and her husband Scott continue to film their harrowing retreat to higher ground and the dramatic rescues of friends and neighbors. The filmmakers document the couple’s return to New Orleans, the devastation of their neighborhood and the appalling repeated failures of government. Weaving an insider’s view of Katrina with a mix of verité and in-your-face filmmaking, Trouble the Water is a redemptive tale of self-described street hustlers who become heroes—two unforgettable people who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 75
  • Fresh: 72
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 8.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Trouble the Water, along with Spike Lee's extraordinary four-hour epic, When the Levees Broke, remains one of the most eloquent records we have of a tragedy that brought out some of the most impressively alive men and women in New O – David Denby, New Yorker, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Is there more to be said about this national catastrophe? Yes, definitely, as the engrossing documentary Trouble the Water shows in just about every frame. – Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Roberts needs more practice at holding the camera steady and framing shots. It doesn't matter. We feel her footage at the base of our spines. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: You can't help wanting -- and maybe needing -- to read into her indomitable spiritedness something like a reason for hope. For her, for other Katrina survivors, for all of us. – Joe Leydon, Houston Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes
Trouble the Water
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2008

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