Viewers seeking detailed information about the economy and the politics of New Orleans will have to go elsewhere. But anyone hoping to reclaim Katrina emotionally—to experience what the city went through in all its phases of loss, anger, and contempt—needs to see Lee’s movie, which is surely the most magnificent and large-souled record of a great American tragedy ever put on film.
There’s one element that seems unredeemable—the dead citizens lying all over the city, bloated and discolored. It’s the primal curse of the Greek myths: the unburied corpse, an offense against the gods and against civilization, too. That’s why the mock funeral at the end of the movie, whatever its precise meaning, is the most eloquent of gestures. Society may have collapsed, but a proper burial is still fitting. The citizens of New Orleans graciously grant to the storm the courtesy that the storm, in its rage, could not grant to them.
h/t to The Tomb for uploaded segments of Parts I & II. Parts III & IV are here.