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How Accurate is ‘Five Days at Memorial’? — The Hurricane Katrina Miniseries on Apple+ Is Based on a True Story


'Five Days At Memorial' cast member Cherry Jones talking into a walkie talkie with a bleeding cut on her head

Yes, Five Days At Memorial on Apple TV+ is a true story, but how accurate is the new limited series by Carlton Cuse and John Ridley? The series focuses on the heart-wrenching events at one specific hospital in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. The levees broke and 80% of the city ended up underwater. It stars Vera Farmiga, Robert Pine, Cherry Jones, Julie Ann Emery, Cornelius Smith, Adepero Oduye, Molly Hager, Michael Gaston, and W. Earl Brown.

What is ‘Five Days At Memorial’ about on Apple TV+?

Five Days At Memorial tells the true story of what happened at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans. It begins the evening before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, with the preparations the staff at the hospital made. In addition to the team and patients, nearly 1200 people from the surrounding area took up shelter within the hospital’s walls. When Katrina hit, there were 2000 people inside Memorial Hospital. 

The events of the storm itself unfold in the gripping first episode of Five Days At Memorial. Then the second episode shows how relieved everyone became when the hurricane changed course. However, no one expected the floodwalls and levees to fail around the city catastrophically. The water flooding into the city and surrounding areas poured into the hospital. The generators failed, and the people trapped inside spent their remaining days in the hospital with no clean water, no working sewer system, no food, and no air conditioning in the sweltering August heat.

The evacuation by boat and helicopter began on day three and concluded on day five. Then the last three episodes focus on the intense investigation of why 45 people died in that short period. 

How accurate is the true story of ‘Five Days At Memorial on Apple TV+?

Five Days At Memorial on Apple TV+ is based on the book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sherri Fink.

“Her book was such an impeccably researched and detailed account of the story that that was really the source material that John and I used to tell our fictionalized version of that story,” Carlton Cuse told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “For us, the challenge wasn’t getting more information. It was really combing through the book and figuring out what was most important.”

Fink interviewed over 500 people to create her accurate account of what happened at the hospital.

“I really felt like the authenticity of the story required the audience seeing, feeling and understanding what the circumstances were like” Carlton Cuse explained. “And so we did that. Fortunately, we were really lucky enough to have the resources from Apple to make the show the way we wanted.”

From flying a U.S. Coast guard helicopter across the Canadian border into Toronto to constructing a four million gallon water tank. The team made everything as accurate as possible in retelling the story in Five Days At Memorial.

The ‘Five Days At Memorial’ cast is as accurate as possible

In the Five Days At Memorial cast, Vera Farmiga portrays Dr. Anna Pou, an otolaryngologist — a head and neck cancer surgeon. Robert Pine …read more

Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

      

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