Segments in this Video

Surveying the Damage (03:30)


A jazz band makes a procession through a New Orleans neighborhood destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. A resident has difficulty recognizing his street. Bodies of flood victims are still being found in houses.

First Mardi Gras (03:15)

New Orleans residents celebrate Fat Tuesday in February 2006, showing the community's resilience and cultural commitment. Mayor Ray Nagin makes an appearance.

Debris Removal (02:36)

The Corps of Engineers begins cleaning four months after the storm. Residents express frustration at their slow progress. Hear how homes are marked after being searched for human remains.

Failed Search and Rescue Efforts (03:37)

When returning home, some New Orleans residents found the remains of loved ones that had been missed or overlooked. View images of corpses and hear common causes of death.

Challenges in Identifying Bodies (02:26)

The remains of many flood victims were stuck in houses for months. New Orleans Police and medical examiners lacked funding to begin DNA testing until December of 2005.

Investigating the Levee Failure (03:23)

New Orleans residents blame the Army Corps of Engineers for the loss of life. An engineering team attempts to understand what caused the flood walls to break.

Levee Failure Responsibility (03:19)

The Army Corps of Engineers admit that poor design and construction caused the New Orleans flood protection system to fail— and that they knew the I-walls would not withstand a major storm. Residents are trying to file a class action lawsuit.

Changing Coastal Geography (03:02)

Mississippi River sediment blocks delta shipping channels. Dredging has eroded wetlands, making New Orleans vulnerable to flooding, which is compounded by rising sea levels. Meteorologists predict decades of severe storms and hurricanes due to climate change.

Exploiting Louisiana (03:46)

Despite oil and natural gas resources, tax revenue from offshore drilling goes to the federal government, rather than the state. New Orleans lacks the money to rebuild wetlands and levees.

FEMA's Absence (03:18)

New Orleans residents appeal to the federal government for help. They are still homeless, months after the disaster.

Housing Crisis (03:04)

Six months after the storm, New Orleans residents waiting for trailers express frustration at FEMA bureaucracy. One woman jokes that her trailer will not get power until she is willing to provide sexual favors.

FEMA Trailers (03:15)

Months after applying, New Orleans residents began receiving poor quality shelters. Citizens express frustration at politicians failing to serve the people.

Insurance Battle (03:18)

Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco appeals to Congress for financial aid. Many home owner policies covered water damage from hurricanes rather than flooding. New Orleans residents file a class action lawsuit to gain coverage.

Homeowner's Insurance Scandal (04:01)

Allstate Insurance will not cover flood damage to a New Orleans resident's childhood home. His father, a World War II veteran, is devastated.

New Orleans Land Grab (03:46)

Speculators try to bulldoze houses in the Lower Ninth Ward. Homeowners fight to keep their properties.

Plans to Rebuild (02:08)

Developers are trying to access property in the Lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood attractive to industry. Homeowners refuse to sell. Nagin promises to rebuild all of New Orleans.

Patching a Broken System (02:21)

The Army Corps of Engineers promises to restore levees before the 2006 hurricane season, but New Orleans residents are skeptical they will withstand another storm. Many feel abandoned by the U.S. government.

Learning from Dutch Levees (02:57)

The U.S. lacks the political will to match engineering protecting the Netherlands from flooding. New Orleans residents don't trust the Army Corps of Engineers to repair the damage before the next storm season. Experts say many neighborhoods are not safe.

Community Rebirth (04:11)

A New Orleans resident shares an essay she wrote about surviving the hurricane and flood. A jazz band walks through a ruined neighborhood with a coffin marked "Katrina."

Credits: When the Levees Broke: Part 3 (01:20)

Credits: When the Levees Broke: Part 3

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

When the Levees Broke: Part 3

Part of the Series : When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $199.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $299.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



One year after Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans, director Spike Lee presents a four-hour, four-part chronicle recounting, through words and images, one of our country’s most profound natural disasters. In addition to revisiting the hours leading up to the arrival of Katrina, a Category 5 hurricane before it hit the coast of Louisiana, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts tells the personal stories of those who lived to tell about it, at the same time exploring the underbelly of a nation where the divide along race and class lines has never been more pronounced. An HBO Production. 

Length: 64 minutes

Item#: BVL115043

Copyright date: ©2006

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.