Trouble the Water

Rated 4.0

The opening shots of Apocalypse Now, which pretty much changed my life when I was 15, were actually just coverage and improv discovered and assembled by Coppola and Walter Murch in the editing room. My point is that sometimes film genius is about being in the right place at the right time, and sometimes, as with the Hurricane Katrina documentary Trouble the Water, it’s about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Aspiring rapper Kim Roberts and her husband, Scott, were stuck in one of the poorest sections of New Orleans just blocks from the levee, and the 15 minutes of footage that Kim caught on her Hi8 camera as the storm hit forms the basis of this bracing documentary. It’s a dispiriting but inspiring story of government neglect, bootstrap heroism and a terrifying, ultimately life-changing experience.