Spike Lee was nearly finished with his already long sequel to his New Orleans tome, “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” showing this week on HBO, called “If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise.”
Then the BP oil spill happened and they loaded up the cameras again.
“We were done shooting. We were done,” Lee told reporters at press tour earlier this month. “And the thing blew up and so we had to rethink, reconfigure, and made, like, another seven trips down to New Orleans.”
The crews were there as recently as a month ago, because of the Danziger Bridge indictments that came down concerning shootings there five years ago.
“We had to rethink everything,” Lee said. “But we’re done now.”
An earlier sidetrack in the film was Haiti and its devastating hurricane. Part of the reason was to catch up with Sean penn, who had been in New Orleans in the last film but has since moved to Port-au-Prince, so “we follow them there,” Lee says.
“There’s a direct historical correlation between New Orleans and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, if what brought about the whole Louisiana Purchase was [Haitian Revolution leader] Toussaint L’Ouverture kicking Napoleon in the butt, prompting him to sell Louisiana,” Lee says. “So with the whole correlation with the earthquake, we wanted to make that [connection].”
In addition, covering the police, schools, housing and even food of New Orleans means quite a sprawling four-hour sequel.
“If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise” plays HBO Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m. on HBO.