Spike Lee on Katrina Anniversary and the Oil Spill

The filmmaker talks to the Root about his new HBO documentary.

By Kai Wright Aug 23, 2010

Spike Lee’s documentary on New Orleans five years after Katrina, If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, begins airing on HBO tonight. Part two airs tomorrow. I haven’t yet seen the film, but the Root’s Nick Charles spoke with Lee about the film, the region’s recovery, the oil spill and President Obama. Lee, like many, pointed to the number one question facing black America: Where are the jobs?

TR: What do you think of President Obama and the job he has done so far?

SL: Well, look, I supported the president 100 percent, still do. Campaigned actively for him. But if we all play Monday-morning quarterback and we look back five, 10, 15, 20 years from now, the one thing people might just keep coming back to is this whole thing of going after national health care and not jobs. Look at all the people out of work. People don’t have jobs. So I think that it’s all coming down to jobs now. America needs to work. And I have no ideas whatsoever what he could do to get it back on track. But I know people are hurting. I’m not saying that health care is not a good issue, but maybe not out the box.

Lee also plugged his now-annual Michael Jackson birthday party in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. I was there last year and it was a cute scene (pic above). He’s reprising it next Monday, if you’re a New Yorker looking for a day of dancing in the park to MJ. And if you tune in tonight, chime in to comments tomorrow and let us know if it’s a must-see.