Our entertainment editor, Deb Williams reviewed America Betrayed, a captivating edgy, in-your-face documentary, by Leslie Cardé. Here’s Deb’s report:
From the beginning, Leslie Cardé impressively goes right for the jugular, presenting Hurricane Katrina as the worst man-made disaster in American history. A critique of the role played by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, this in-depth documentary reveals layers of cover-ups that reached all the way to Washington, endangering the lives of Americans.
In emotional interviews with survivors of Katrina, Cardé shows the brutal reality years after the disaster. She takes viewers on a journey, explaining how corrupt politicians, greedy corporations, and sub-standard aid, crushed the hopes of Katrina victims and every American.
Narrated by Richard Dreyfuss, the documentary is factual and riveting. Ironically, as Hurricane Ike’s damage is just now being assessed in Texas, I wonder whether history will be repeated?
A collapsed water tower and flooding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina
Cardé agreed to answer some questions for Dolce Dolce readers.
DD: While filming America Betrayed, what did you feel was the mind-set of the survivors of Katrina, who are still trying to rebuild their lives? LC: Although I was impressed with the indomitable spirit which permeates the mind-set of most New Orleanians, their spirits were waning years after the disaster. They've watched the government red-tape go on for so long that hope has become elusive. And, with the government claiming immunity, and the courts having to uphold the 1928 statute, many have realized they just won't ever be compensated for their losses, or see their communities restored. In spite of all of this, many have been working (by themselves, when they can) to restore their devastated properties.
DD: What does America Betrayed mean to you? LC: When I titled the film, I did so because my perspective after shooting the film was different than when I first took on the project. America Betrayed connotes to me a trust that's been dashed, between the people of this country, and the very people they elect to work for them. Instead, it has become clear that the self-interests of those in power often supersede the needs of the people. And that, for most of us in this country, represents a stunning betrayal.