Trouble the Water


Trouble the Water takes the audience inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen. The film features a streetwise young couple who survive the flooding of their city by any means necessary, rescuing dozens of friends and neighbors along the way. It’s a redemptive tale about outlaws who become heroes set against the largest diaspora in American history: Hustle and Flow meets The Grapes of Wrath.

The film opens in the Ninth Ward the day before Katrina makes landfall in a New Orleans tourists seldom see, overrun with drugs, violence, poverty and police corruption. When we first meet the subjects, they are turning their video camera on themselves and their neighbors: those evacuating and those with no means to leave. As the hurricane rages outside, they continue to film, documenting their journey to higher ground, their rescues of friends and neighbors, their looting for survival, and their confrontations with military and police. The raw and uncensored footage and voiceover commentary they record is chilling.

Trouble the Water continues on a journey through the post-hurricane despair and chaos offering an intimate and dramatic look at a new underclass of Katrina homeless in America, told from their point of view. Will the government that failed them help them in Katrina’s aftermath? Will they find jobs in a new city or return to selling drugs? Will they pursue their dreams of hip-hop fame? And will the city that abandoned them welcome them home?

Shot on Super 16 film and video, Trouble the Water incorporates archival news elements to provide perspective and historical context throughout. The subjects and their dramatic video footage anchor the film with an unforgettable voice rarely heard by a mainstream audience.

With an original musical score written and produced by Neil Davidge and Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, and also featuring the music of Dr. John, Mary Mary, Citizen Cope, John Lee Hooker, and Black Kold Madina.


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