As RZA points out, the first trailer for Cut Throat City, his upcoming heist film set in New Orleans during the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, tells you all you need to know about the film’s attitude toward the U.S. government’s infamous mishandling of the natural disaster.
“FEMA’s a goddamn joke,” says Demetrius Shipp, who plays one of four struggling 20-somethings from the city’s impoverished Ninth Ward who plot a robbery after the devastating storm floods their neighborhood and leaves them in dire straits.
“It’s hard to deal with natural disasters, no matter how much money you got,” RZA said (watch above). “But money is an immediate remedy in situations like that. Where the money goes is important, and the Ninth Ward is a place where the money did not go. So that’s like the people who are in the most need are not getting the water.”
One scene in the film even depicts its characters visiting FEMA for help and being told the Ninth Ward was not being covered by relief funds.
It was a relatable plight for RZA, who grew up under tough circumstances in Brooklyn and North Carolina.
“Being a welfare child,” he said, “I recall my mother trying to get certain things that they wouldn’t give us.
“I lived that. So that part of the story became important for me to tell.”
Cut Throat City opens in 2019.
Watch Wesley Snipes respond to recent news that Blade was almost whitewashed:
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