Documentary Review: If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise (2010)

Release Date: August 23rd, 2010
Directed by: Spike Lee
Music by: Terence Blanchard

40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, 255 Minutes


If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise is a sequel to Spike Lee’s earlier documentary When the Levees Broke – A Requiem in Four Acts. I reviewed the original film series already.

In this documentary series, Spike Lee returns to New Orleans five years later, after he shot his first documentary, which chronicled the effects of Hurricane Katrina. This film acts as a follow up and shows us were a lot of the people from the original film series are at, after some time has passed. It also examines the British Petroleum Oil Spill, which happened close to New Orleans just before this documentary started filming.

Where it shows how far people have come post-Katrina and how far they still have to go, it emphasizes the impact of another disaster – this one not of nature but of man’s environmental carelessness. The film justifiably magnifies the plight of the people of New Orleans, who felt abandoned by their country, their government and now in a bigger sense, the world.

Like the previous film series, Spike Lee takes a step back as interviewer and director and just lets the people in this film talk: telling their story from their point of view. There really is no spin or hidden agenda other than letting the people of New Orleans discuss these issues and their problems while displaying the good, the bad and the ugly but most importantly, the kinship between many of those suffering together.

These two sister series of films are some of Spike Lee’s finest work. And being a New Orleans Saints fan, I really enjoyed the prologue that showcased the Saints winning Super Bowl XLIV and the impact it had on the community.

Rating: 9/10