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New films about Hurricane Katrina face a terrible challenge. After mountains of footage, news articles, books, TV specials, and documentaries about the storm, they now have to strive doubly hard to show something original. Trouble the Water, which details the plight of a poor New Orleans couple who stayed in the city during the storm, is well-made and well-paced, if a little too long. Its main character is a charismatic a 24-year-old aspiring rapper named Kimberly Rivers Roberts. Roberts shot the footage of the storm herself, and it’s as raw as it gets. Directors Tia Lessin and Carl Deal show the couple, friends, and family as they weather the pounding rain and rapidly elevating water levels in the 9th Ward and try to find stability afterward. But we’ve seen these images before, many, many times: the rising water, the abandoned citizens huddled atop their homes, the people wading to safety, the bewildered looks of soldiers in the city after the storm. If Trouble the Water had come out just after Katrina, it would have been astonishing. Almost three years later, it’s a familiar story. —RS