Courtesy of Zeitgeist Films
Got a minute? Rapper and resident of New Orleans' Ninth Ward Kimberly Rivers talks about turning her home movies of Hurricane Katrina into the documentary Trouble the Water.
Q: What made you start filming your neighborhood the day before Katrina hit?
A: From what everybody was saying, it seemed like history was going to be made. I was going to record it just in case. I did it just to show my kids—and in case we died, so somebody would find the camera.
Q: When did you know it wasn't going to be just another storm?
A: The experience of the weather changing and the moods and the constant broadcasting—I knew it was going to be something major. I didn't even know what the word catastrophic meant. I didn't understand the degree of the hurricane or what was going to happen. If I would have known that, we would have been walking.
Q: You met filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin at the Superdome when you were staying there. How did that relationship develop?
A: When I first met them, they had the upper hand on me. They knew the business and I didn't. I didn't have enough time to read about it in books, and nobody around me knew film, so I was kind of afraid when I met them. But after they earned my trust to some degree, I kind of relaxed.
Q: Do you still have the $20 camera you used to make your movie?
A: Why, you want to buy it?
Q: I'll give you what you paid for it.
A: Twenty dollars? Please. I'll take $20,000.
Q: Why is Katrina still on so many people's minds after three years?
A: I don't think it's on people's minds enough. We should have more progress in New Orleans. Katrina is actually still going on. It's history, man. It's American history, New Orleans history, black history—a time capsule, you know?
Q: Do you agree with Kanye West that President Bush doesn't care about black people?
A: What I think is what I know. Watch the news. Go to New Orleans and see. They rebuilt the French Quarter. California has been back on the map after earthquakes; Florida is back on the map. They were rebuilt. Yes, I believe that he's got a thing against black people.
Q: You still live in New Orleans. Do you keep your house stocked with supplies?
A: No, I just keep my truck gassed up. Yaran Noti