These days it seems as though Danny Glover is more activist than actor/filmmaker, but in his latest effort he gets to wear at least two of his three hats.
Glover, best known as Mel Gibson's partner in the "Lethal Weapon" films, is one of the creative forces behind "Trouble the Water," a documentary about the Hurricane Katrina devastation in New Orleans. Released in New York and L.A. last week, Glover's production company Louveture Films, helped New York-based filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal find financing and distribution for this film that won the 2008 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
The film follows the journey of Kim and Scott Roberts, who used their camcorder to record what was left of their neighborhood following one of the nation's worst natural disasters. When the couple bumped into Deal and Lessin, the filmmakers realized that they had stumbled onto a story that was not only compelling, but would help Americans truly understand more of what went down in New Orleans in the days and weeks after the storm.
"I think for the most part Katrina is symbolic of a lot of things that are very much of interest in urban areas," Glover said. " It’s specific because of New Orleans and the hurricane but really the discourse of the idea of social justice and economic justice is what this film attempts to deal with. We look at the victimization of people who lives have been marginalized by the structural violence that affects their lives. I think the same symptoms that we see in terms of healthcare, education, jobs and community safety are apparent in other communities whether it’s South Central, South Bronx or whether it’s East Oakland or wherever. These are real issues."
Glover added that he hopes that audiences are inspired to take some sort of action.
"Whenever we’ve screened it there hasn’t been a dry eye in the place," he said. "We showed it to 1,500 college students and the first question they asked was how can we get other people to see this. The couple who shot some of this footage, who put their lives in danger to save others, they see their work validated. As always when you have any film that this that shows pain and suffering, their stories are validated when we start talking about what we can do. So my hope is that others we be inspired by it."