KATRINA BABIES, Edward Buckles Jr., USA, 2022
By: Claus Mueller
In the superb and innovative U.S. HBO 2022 documentary KATRINA BABIES by the first-time director Edward Buckles jr. the film maker interviews people who were young and living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck the city in 2005. Buckles investigates how the consequences of the disaster shaped their lives and families. They articulate the impact of Katrina; the social and psychological trauma caused by the destruction of their communities. Buckles provides reminders and new insights about the human dimensions of the Katrina nightmare, from drowning, forced relocation, living in poisonous trailers, and lukewarm federal and state financial responses to Katrina.
As replayed nationwide during the pandemic years beginning in 2020, young minorities from New Orleans were deprived of regular in-person education for years. This led to knowledge deficits, an educational burden not overcome by subsequent compensatory education. Buckles documentary is long overdue because most people have forgotten about Hurricane Katrina. More than half of the Katrina victims were minorities living in poor neighborhoods, which were flooded. They had no insurance, and were underemployed. Although not mentioned in the film, it should be noted that 75% of the 9/11 World Trade Center victims were white and male and less than 50 years old. They belonged to the upper income groups. The 9/11 victim compensation fund paid $2 million to each dead victim’s family.