Why is Spike Lee not listed? | Film Analysis | When The Levees Broke

When The Levees Broke is by far the best documentary I have ever seen. So, when Professor Drabinski mentioned that Lee was regarded as one of the best documentary directors, I thought that he made perfect sense! But,I guess IMDB, Taste of Cinema, and even Documentary.Org don’t agree. Paste Magazine even has When The Levees Broke listed as number 61 on the top 100 documentaries. Seriously, SIXTY ONE?!? That’s just ridiculous. So, over the next few days, I’ll conduct a film analysis of When The Levees Broke to prove why it should be highly revered among the best!

It’s despicable how representations of race and gender are still problematic issues in the film industry. Why do you guys think that Spike Lee doesn’t appear in the list of documentary directors below, which was produced by IMDB?


One to FiveNine to Ten


  1. Levees was one of the most devastatingly powerful cinematic experiences I’ve ever had – I can’t believe he isn’t on this list. And yet, I’m so sadly unsurprised. I look forward to reading your film analysis, Grace – there’s so much to say about Levees you could honestly write a book about it.

  2. Like Sasha, I’m also really surprised that Levees isn’t more revered within the film industry but also not necessarily surprised, sadly. This reminds me of what Professor Parham said in the very beginning of class– that there’s little to no academic work on Lee’s filmography despite him being one of the most influential filmmakers in the last few decades.

  3. While the film was great, do you think there the reason he is lower on the list is because we, or perhaps just myself, view Spike Lee as a film maker rather than a documentarian? I think there is a clear distinction that may be contributing to the low ranking.

    1. I thought that this might have been the reason why, but, Werner Herzog is listed and he is renown as a great actor. In addition, Lee has directed about seven documentaries, so he is well known as a documentary filmmaker.

  4. I’m likewise disturbed that Lee isn’t included on that list given the incredible nature of When The Levees Broke. But, perhaps it falls in line with the country’s general knowledge regarding Katrina and how even today, the nightmare that was Katrina lives on. The nation doesn’t seem, as a whole, to have recognized Katrina and the magnitude of its devastation.

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