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OPINION features excerpts of pieces by columnists from the Op-Ed page and other sections of The New York Times. All columns from the last seven days are available at nytimes.com; Op-Ed pieces (by columnists and outside contributors), plus Editorials and Letters to the Editor, are at nytimes.com/opinion. Please let us know what you think of OPINION at upfront@scholastic.com.

Everyone ought to cry after they see Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, the powerful HBO documentary about the federally bungled disaster in the Gulf states in August and September 2005. It is the film he was born to make, about suffering and callousness in America. Last month, Lee screened part of his four-hour documentary for the New York Knicks at their training camp in Charleston, S.C., at the request of Isiah Thomas, the team's coach. Thomas felt the film would bring his players closer together and remind them there is real life outside the basketball arena. For the players, the film brought the horror of Katrina back. "It gives me humility that we should never take anything for granted," said one player. According to Thomas, it made a real impact on the team. "We went down there as a pretty fragmented group," he said. "Since then, we have conducted ourselves as a unit."

George Vecsey [10/29/06]