View Full Version : Katrina?

10-03-2005, 09:04 PM
Has anyone heard of anyone doing a documentary on this?

10-04-2005, 04:30 PM
We are. We are doing one on "the forgotten area", ie, most of Mississippi. We are also working on a documentary on the lack of help from FEMA and how FEMA is hurting more than helping in many cases (such as ours).

10-04-2005, 04:36 PM
We are. We are doing one on "the forgotten area", ie, most of Mississippi. We are also working on a documentary on the lack of help from FEMA and how FEMA is hurting more than helping in many cases (such as ours).Somehow I am not surprised - after reading what you have gone through.

However, I think there are plenty of viewpoints you can take without putting blame on anyone. I am certain there will be thousands of touching and heartstopping stories.

You know - FEMA nor anyone else wished the hurricane to happen, and it might politicize the whole film. It's fine if that's what you want, but you can be sure I ain't gonna watch it :) .

But I'd be very interested in watching how you and your community coped, and how you are putting your lives back together. Good luck!

10-04-2005, 04:48 PM
We are doing 2 different docs. One is going to be "Katrina: From the Inside Looking Out", which will be stories of survivors, those who stayed and those who left and came back to the destruction. It looks like we are going to have lots of video of the storm coming in, the storm at its worst, and the aftermath. We are also going to get 'before and after' from all along the MS coast. We want to do this sort of like the Veteran's Project where people can get in front of the camera and tell their stories.

As to FEMA - blame has to go where it is deserved in order to avoid what has happened here. Many people, 5 weeks later, are still living under tarps because of FEMA. People are still dying because of FEMA. You may not agree, but I think that is also a story that needs to be told. When you have an organization, be it government or private, that is set up to go in and save lives, but winds up hurting as many people as it helps, then tries A COVER UP, that needs to be presented to the public, too, IMHO. However, I'm always glad to hear from you X! :thumbsup:

10-04-2005, 05:16 PM
I apologize if I am interfering in what is none of my business, but I agree with Moonwind.

The blame is not necessarily being placed on FEMA entirely, but government as a whole. It is the government's job to respond to natural disasters and national emergencies to ensure the safety of its citizens, that's it, bottom line. Instead, the US Government put all of its focus on terrorism. FEMA, out of its 200 some odd national disaster scenarios, has only had 2 which focus on hurricanes since 9/11. Even worse, those two scenarios were based on what to do in the event of a terrorist attack DURING a hurricane.

I'm sorry if I sound radical, but FEMA has pretty much been sold down the river. If it is the government's job to ensure our safety, then FEMA is the frontline of that. FEMA has more broad-sweeping power than any other federal agency. If we saw the footage coming out of the Gulf Coast on CNN, then former Director Michael Brown would have had to as well. He had the power, then and there to take action. FEMA doesn't have red tape. As soon as Bush declared the Gulf Coast 'a disaster area', FEMA had the ability to do whatever they needed. Five days? Really? How were the five hurricanes in Florida handled so well last year, but one, ONE 'took us by surprise'?

My last point, it seems silly to me to put up so much funding to protect us from terrorist attacks that have occurred 3 times in the last two decades, and practically ignore the threat to our country that happens so often we have a season for it.

Anyway, sorry about the rant.
Moonwind, can't wait to see your doc!

10-04-2005, 06:03 PM
Thanks, John! We want to bring out the fact that FEMA became a horse of a different color after 9/11, too. As you said, there is really no one group to blame, but the pain that is being inadvertently inflicted down here is unconscionable and it HAS to be changed before the next disaster hits or there will be even more unnecessary deaths. I'm hoping that the horror stories that will be taped will cause a change for the better within FEMA and other related organizations. And I am more than willing to play fair and give FEMA a chance to explain why they had people with 2 hours training trying to take applications over the phone, some of whom could not even speak english well. And why the victims get punished for FEMA screwups (like us). If this can keep the next group from going through the 7 levels of hell we have been through so far it will be worth it! I just hope we can find someone to broadcast it when it is finished! :grin:

The Katrina doc, on the other hand, we hope to have archived as well as shown. Our Fiscal Sponsor from another documentary we have been working on (and is now postponed thanks to Katrina) is going to help us on this one, too, so we may be able to do a slam bang up job!

10-04-2005, 06:26 PM
Well, I don't live down there, so I suppose Moonwind knows better than me. I see your point, 32, and largely agree with what you say. As a Canadian travelling often to the US, I find the focus on terrorism 'management' ridiculous. The worst thing (and I have mentioned it in other threads) is that the government appears to be successful in instilling an atmosphere of fear in its citizens - the best vehicle for mind control. I may be oversensitive to this because of my origin, but I definitely see great danger in letting the state to get too much control with no accountability.

That said, I have known many examples of agencies and charitable organizations that are supposed to 'help' that have their hands literally tied because of many factors, some legal, some special-interest, you can't really blame them when things don't go well. That's why I don't like the idea of blame - especially not in a tragedy that was caused by nature. It's not like somebody in the upper echelons of the government said: 'let's unleash Katrina on Mississippi'.

IIRC, dealing with emergencies is a state-level responsibility, not federal one. Just last week (or the week before?), I remember reading in papers that Bush wants to change that, in light of what happened in Katrina's aftermath. Where was the government of Luisiana and Mississippi? You may point out that Bush's brother is the governor of Florida, but I doubt that it would seriously impact that state's emergency preparedness in either direction. It's not one person, or even one department - it's thousands of people who are involved in emergency response planning. Do you seriously suggest in Florida it's better because the governor is the President's brother?

Putting blame on someone is so American - forgive me for being blunt. I find the richer a society is, the quicker people are in pointing fingers (too much disposable income to be spent on lawyers, I guess). As much as I love America, this is something I really dislike. But I guess somehow your law industry must get paid... it's just too sad it's becoming part of your culture. Where is the American 'tough it out' attitude?

Sure, let's review the government's policy, let's revamp the whole system so it works better the next time, but let's keep the fingers in our pockets.

I like the line in the movie 'Alaska': Here, when something happens to you, it's your fault. It would be heartless and pretty low to blame the victims of Katrina on themselves, but I see blaming anyone else (including FEMA or government or your neighbor) not that much higher.

I guess the worst thing is that all the discussion we may have will not help much. It won't return a loved one, it won't build a house. So I am going to shut up.

10-04-2005, 07:23 PM
I heard that Penelope Spheeris is doing a Katrina doc as well. I'm sure there are others. I look forward to your doc, Moonwind, especially after hearing what you and others have been through down there. I can't even imagine.

David G. Smith
10-04-2005, 07:31 PM
Hurricane Katrinia and it's aftermath is one of the most significant events in American history. The total number of displaced persons rival, or surpasses the number of persons that were involved in the "Great Migration" which took place over 50 years. There are enough stories here that need to be told that a thousand documentaries could be made.

10-04-2005, 08:49 PM
I see what you are saying X, and while I may not agree with the "blame is an American thing" (mainly because it is a fallacious argument), there is no doubt that our country favors litigation over mediation and seems to favor the condemnation of the "obviously guilty" over the review of facts even more.

However, again, it is up to our government to create, enforce, maintain and restore order. I cannot agree with the existential explanation that the residents of the Gulf Coast are partly to blame. I'm sorry, but it's impossible. The only mistake I could possibly make out of it is believing that the powers that be are watching out for us. Instead, unfortunately, they were more focused on watching over us. We put too much security in the thought that "they" know best and everything will be okay. Katrina proved that "they" in fact don't know best, and there is no "system" for the protection of every American. Our mistake was believing otherwise...even in the wake of a natural disaster.

I suppose 'the big to do' is that it was a shame. A tragedy, an AVOIDABLE tragedy, of this magnitude should not happen in such a way. Had the hurricane struck so hard that thousands were lost in the span of a couple days if not less, that would be tolerable in a sense that almost nothing could be done. If the survivors were lost somewhere in no man's land and the national guard and FEMA could not reach them, THAT would be tolerable because still they would be trying. Unfortunately, when a government (state government in the case of New Orleans, LA) tells its citizens to go somewhere in which help will be waiting and then do nothing for days, that is unacceptable. I'm sorry, but if news crews in vans, SWAT teams and helicopters can travel in and out of where the evacuees were, there is no reason for aid to take so long. Babies did not need to die of dehydration and the elderly did not need to die of heat exhaustion. It is a shame, a shame our own citizens were left for dead by the very people they PAY for services BEYOND this.

Okay, sorry once more. I am rambling, and most likely going off topic at this point. I am not trying to argue with you X, at least not in any abrasive manner. It's just that in this particular situation, blame is easy to place, it is responsibility that needs to be taken. Who shall do so, the homeless citizens left for dead, or the people who swore to protect them?


10-04-2005, 08:53 PM
XC - Don't you ever shut up! You bring a different point of view to discussions, some that I (and others) may or may not agree with, but you do it with calmness, well-thought out ideas! That being said, I think we may have a semantic problem here (at least between you and me) rather than an ethical one, and that is with the word "blame". I am not trying to "blame" as in - "its FEMAs fault we were hit by Katrina", but "blame" as in, if I accept a job and then do not do that job, then I am to blame for letting down the person/s that hired me to do that job. In the case of FEMA that has meant that people have suffered and some have died. And as I would expect to be fired for not doing the job I was hired to do, so FEMA should have some consequences against them. That is what I am looking at and feeling strongly about. Hopefully, this makes a little more sense to you than 'blame'. Would you argue that anyone, including agencies, that have done things wrong should not be held accountable for their screwups? That is what I want to bring out in this documentary, that mistakes - BIG BAD mistakes were made and those who made them should be held accountable ... and that changes MUST be made to keep it from happening again.

As to our local government, here in Mississippi we were in very good hands considering the sheer size of the disaster. Our Gov. asked the Pres. to declare Mississippi a disaster area before the storm even hit, so there were a lot of things already in place to help. I can't imagine how much worse it might have been without Gov. Barbor and the entire Mississippi congress (Dems/Reps/Indys/and Rebulicrats with Independent leanings like me) :smile:

I can promise that we are not going to make a Michael Moore type production - though I would like to get him in front of our camera (he's thinking about making a doc about it) and ask HIM some very pointed questions!

10-04-2005, 09:00 PM
Actually, I am going to ask for a continued discussion from all sides as the hubby and I are getting ideas for the projects just from reading them. Believe it or not, what I am reading from doesn't sound that far off from each other, just a different way of saying "this was one hell of a big oops". Since we are going to be concentrating on the Mississippi Gulf Coast I won't be able to address what really happened in NOLA, but I have already been in touch with our state and local govmts here and have been very impressed on what they tried to do. A lot of it didn't work, but at least they tried and maybe, with learning from the mistakes, the next disaster will cost fewer lives, less property loss, and less acrimony. At least I hope so!

10-04-2005, 09:36 PM
PS - We have some brilliant minds out there - we need someone to come up with TRUE smell-o-vision. THAT would be the NUMBER ONE way of conveying the Katrina aftermath! (Believe me, its a smell you would NEVER forget!)

10-04-2005, 10:58 PM
Moonwind, I just want to commend and thank you for doing this doc. Someone has to. The significance of what happened is too important.

10-06-2005, 03:09 PM
Moonwind, I am with you.