By Indiewire | Indiewire August 18, 2006 at 1:25AM
As many as 12,000 people, many of them Hurricane Katrina survivors, jammed the New Orleans Arena for the premiere of filmmaker Spike Lee's four-hour documentary about the deadly storm. The free showing of "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" took place just a stone's throw from the Louisiana Superdome, which became a sweltering pit of human misery after Katrina, and which figures prominently in the film's first hour. The film begins with the days leading up to August 29, 2005, when Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,300, rendering tens of thousands more homeless and inundating 80 percent of New Orleans with fetid floodwater. Told almost exclusively through interviews with hurricane survivors and the officials charged with rescuing them, Lee has said his documentary, which will air August 21 on the cable channel Home Box Office (HBO), was an effort to give a voice to the people most affected by the storm. Russell McCulley reports.