“Katrina Babies,” the HBO documentary directed by first-time filmmaker and New Orleans native Edward Buckles, Jr., is receiving rave reviews from viewers on Twitter.
About ‘Katrina Babies’ Documentary
“Katrina Babies” details the close-knit families and vibrant communities of New Orleans whose lives were uprooted by the 2005 disaster.
These American children who were airlifted out of the rising waters, evacuated from their homes to refugee-like centers, or placed in makeshift, temporary living situations, have been neglected.
As families were tasked with reintegrating into new communities, having experienced loss, displacement, and lack of support from government officials, the children were left to process their trauma in a wounded, fractured city.
Buckles raises his camera to elevate the voices of his city; utilizing confessional-style footage, home movies, animation, harrowing archival footage, and candid interviews with Katrina survivors, Buckles unearths a reservoir of grief and suppressed emotion.
Through these moving, first-hand accounts, “Katrina Babies” journeys toward healing, not just from the most destructive storm in U.S. history, but also from the multi-generational traumas of being black and disenfranchised in America.
In the face of systemic racism, government neglect, and the unprocessed pain of family separations, the children of Katrina are left to chart their own path toward healing.
About Edward Buckles Jr.
New Orleans filmmaker Edward Buckles Jr., who was 13 years old during Katrina and its initial aftermath, spent seven years documenting the stories of his peers who survived the storm as children, using his community’s tradition of oral storytelling to open a door for healing and to capture the strength and spirit of his city.
In his interview with Time Magazine, Edward shared the inspiration behind the documentary:
I got this idea when I was 20 and studying documentary at Dillard [University].
I’m watching all of these films, and I’m really being inspired. And then I’m like, What’s a documentary that I would tell about my life? And nothing came to me for a very long time.
One day my cousin Tina called me. And she was just crying, because she was still displaced during the holidays.
That’s when it finally hit me. And I was like, Yo, I want to tell a story about what the children went through during the storm. Because on that call, she told me what all of my cousins had been through.
I grew up in post-Katrina New Orleans, and I was exposed to everything.
Watch The Trailer
Watch the “Katrina Babies” trailer below.
Twitter Reactions To ‘Katrina Babies’
One viewer tweeted, “#KatrinaBabies has to be some of the most powerful storytelling I’ve seen in a long time. The world has never stopped to ask Black children if they’re okay and we know that. But to have the repercussions of ignoring trauma shown like this? Chilling.”
Another viewer wrote, “Just watched #KatrinaBabies on HBO Max. What a beautiful, yet heartbreaking documentary on Hurricane Katrina’s impact on the kids of New Orleans. So many are still walking around with PTSD almost 20 years later ?”
Read more Twitter reactions below.
Watch ‘Katrina Babies’
“Katrina Babies” was released on Wednesday, August 24, and is now streaming on HBO Max.