Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oscar watch: Trouble the Water

Kim Voynar writes of Trouble the Water, the Oscar-nominated documentary about struggles to survive and efforts to thrive in post-Katrina New Orleans:

I first saw the film at Sundance last year, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for documentary, and it was one of my favorite films of that year's fest. As I walked to the shuttle stop after the film, I was behind two obviously well-off, white couples (the women were both wearing ankle-length fur coats and were glittering with diamonds), and overheard a conversation that's stayed with me for over a year.

One woman said to her husband that she didn't like "those black people" the film focused on, and wondered why the filmmakers had chosen to focus on Kimberly Rivers Roberts and her husband, Scott; the husband of the other woman offered that he felt that [Tia] Lessin and [Carl] Deal, who are white, had exploited their black subjects to make a film with a liberal political slant. And I remember thinking to myself, "Wow, is that really all these people got out of the film we just saw?"

You can read more of Voynar's insightful piece -- which includes recent comments by documentarians Carl Deal and Tia Lessin -- here.

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