Thousands of people in New Orleans attended a special preview Wednesday of a new documentary film about Hurricane Katrina, the storm that devastated the historic city in the southern state of Louisiana nearly a year ago.

The four-hour documentary, "When the Levees Broke," is directed by award-winning African-American filmmaker Spike Lee, who has made such films as "Do the Right Thing" and the recent "Inside Man".

The movie features lengthy interviews with at least 100 New Orleans residents and government officials, including Mayor Ray Nagin. It also shows the storm's enormous damage and the suffering its victims experienced afterwards - images that have become indelible reminders of the disaster for Americans.

Many of those interviewed by the filmmaker say the federal government's response to the storm damage was slow and inept.

Broadcasts of the documentary will begin next week on U.S. cable television network HBO.