Spike Lee

With his award-winning 2006 documentary When the Levees Broke, Spike Lee took the overwhelming horror of Hurricane Katrina and broke it down into individual, compelling stories. Now, almost five years later, the city's unofficial documentarian returns with If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise (tonight, 9/8c, HBO), only to find a way of life that once almost drowned now being smothered in a slick of oil.

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TV Guide Magazine: What made you want to come back to New Orleans?
Lee: I told [HBO] this story is not over, and they agreed. We decided there would be a five-year look back, and we picked the right year.

TV Guide Magazine: You were almost finished with the film, but then on April 20...
Lee: We had to rethink the film. The BP oil spill turned out to be the biggest environmental disaster to hit America, and we had to include it.

TV Guide Magazine: This doc seems to be saying there's a common link between the two disasters: greed.
Lee: Greed, greed, greed, greed. It's gonna be the downfall of this country.

TV Guide Magazine: Why are images from New Orleans either about rejoicing or just horror?
Lee: Because that's the way it is down there. It's the highs and the lows, the bad and the good: It's life. 

TV Guide Magazine: Think you'll go back in another 20 years?
Lee: I don't know. I just hope I'm alive. [Laughs] And still making films.

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