On its own, Rising From the Ruins seems a retread of every post-Katrina documentary that has rolled off the assembly line since the levees fell. Says one interviewee in the opening montage: "Once you've lived in this culture, it's hard to leave it." And thus the table is set for what is a well-worn plot thrust, i.e. New Orleanians are an anguished but resilient lot. Corporations and the governments that enable them are bad. Water is wet. But if taken as a sequel to Independent America: The Two Lane Search for Mom and Pop, local digital documentarian Hanson Hosein's first feature, Rising becomes an earnest, if also visually uninteresting, dissection of the tension between the American small business owner and the corporate chains that threaten his or her livelihood. (NR) VERNAL COLEMAN
Independent America: Rising From the Ruins Pacific Place, 6:30 p.m. Mon., May 25 and 4:45 p.m. Wed., May 27.