If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise

Five years after Hurricane Katrina, Lee returns to New Orleans, to see how the ambitious plans to reinvent the Crescent City were playing out. He finds a patchwork of hope and heartache just as a new disaster unfolds.

Environment, Health and Food

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About the Film

In If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise, director Spike Lee continues his examination of the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and its citizens as well as the new challenges they face as a result of the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Throughout the film, Lee revisits the individuals, communities and institutions that he encountered in his epic 2006 Emmy and Peabody-winning documentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts and highlights the successes and failures of the ongoing efforts to restore housing, healthcare, education, economic growth and law and order to a battered but undefeated community.

Film In Context

Katrina: 5 Years Later

One of the strongest storms ever to affect the United States, Hurricane Katrina came ashore on August 29, 2005 causing massive devastation to cities and communities along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. New Orleans suffered the worst damage due to the failure of the levee system (a man-made structure designed to protect the city from floods), and five years later the impact of the disaster can still be felt in every aspect of life for the city’s residents. Did you know:

Adapted from discovery.com, hurricanekatrinarelief.com, hurricane-katrina.org, thinkprogress.org, and New Orleans rebuilding, but Katrina scars remain, by Mike Tolson, Houston Chronicle

BP Oil Spill: Deepwater Horizon

The massive oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 is the worst environmental disaster in US history, affecting over a hundred miles of coastline and hundreds of square miles of open water.

BP Oil Spill Timeline:

Before the accident, the US Government announced plans to open new offshore areas for oil and gas drilling.

President Obama and his administration have received a great deal of criticism for their management of the BP oil spill, with many people comparing their response to the mistakes made by the Bush administration during the Katrina disaster.

Adapted from restorethegulf.gov, hurricane-katrina.org, and The Gulf Oil Spill in the Classroom, The Learning Network: Teaching and Learning with the New York Times, By Katherine Schulten and Catherine Hutchings