Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Underground Railroad Cinema & Conversation Series continues Dec. 18 with TROUBLE THE WATER


Documentary – USA 2008, 96mins

Dir: Tia Lessin, Carl Deal

Trouble the Water is the award winning film that goes inside Hurricane Katrina through the lens of unlikely heroes, Kim and Scott Roberts. A powerful and moving tale of grace and humanity.

Time: 7PM

Location: Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Avenue South, Seattle (corner of 17th Avenue South & Yesler Way; the #27 Metro bus stops in front)

Admission: Suggested donation of $5-$7


Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Trouble the Water is directed and produced by Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal. The film tells the story of an aspiring rap artist and her streetwise husband, trapped in New Orleans by deadly floodwaters, who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning. It’s a redemptive tale of self-described street hustlers who become heroes that takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen.

Trouble the Water opens the day before Katrina makes landfall, just blocks away from the French Quarter but far from the New Orleans that tourists know. Kimberly Rivers Roberts is turning her video camera on herself and her 9th Ward neighbors trapped in the city. “It’s going to be a day to remember,” Kim says excitedly into her new camera as the storm is brewing. It’s her first time shooting video and it’s rough, jumpy but dense with reality. Kim’s playful home-grown newscast tone grinds against the audience’s knowledge that hell is just hours away. There is no way for the audience to warn her. And for New Orleans’ poor, there is nowhere to run.

As the hurricane begins to rage and the floodwaters fill their world and the screen, Kim and her husband Scott continue to film, documenting their harrowing voyage to higher ground and dramatic rescues of friends and neighbors.

Intertwining Kim and Scott’s insider’s view of Katrina and powerful video with a mix of verite and in-your-face filmmaking, Deal and Lessin follow their story through the storm and its aftermath, and into a new life. Along the way, they discover Kim’s musical talent as rap artist Black Kold Madina when she finds the only existing copy of her recorded music survived the storm with a relative in Memphis. Kim’s performance in that moment reveals not only devastating skills as a musician, but compacts her life story into explosive poetry that paints a devastating picture of poverty.

Directed and produced by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal and Executive Produced by Joslyn Barnes and Danny Glover of Louverture Films, edited and co-produced by T. Woody Richman, with additonal editing by Mary Lampson, Trouble the Water features an original musical score by Neil Davidge and Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, and the music of Dr. John, Mary Mary, Citizen Cope, TK Soul, John Lee Hooker, and the Free Agents Brass Band and introduces the music of Black Kold Madina.

Trouble the Water has been supported by grants from the Sundance Institute,the Open Society Institute, and is a project of Creative Capital.