In 1626, Dutch traders bought Manhattan for $28 of beads and gift product. Within 30 years, there were 1,000 residents, and 300 years later, there were 8 million. This film celebrates the ... See full summary »
In 1626, Dutch traders bought Manhattan for $28 of beads and gift product. Within 30 years, there were 1,000 residents, and 300 years later, there were 8 million. This film celebrates the muscle, size, and majesty of Manhattan, starting at the river's edge where a huge-jawed steam shovel dredges. It's on to an ocean liner, then to a hole in the ground where men swing pickaxes, sledgehammers, and shovels. The camera then slowly examines a stately building by the shore. Behind and beside it is the city. Written by
The title to this Robert Flaherty short refers to the amount paid to the Indians by the Dutch to purchase what is now Manhattan. This here certainly isn't a typical documentary as a title card explains, the point of this film is to see how much the land has changed over the years from the time the Dutch were living on the island compared to the over 8-million living there in 1926. The documentary tells us that machinery and buildings have overtaken and perhaps overpowered actual people as we see these items at work. We see cranes being used to break into the ground and remove dirt. We see skyscrapers being erected as large boats make smaller boats look as if they're not there. The film gives a glimpses of what Manhattan looked like in 1926 as well as shows you the city continuing the get bigger and stronger. This film certainly isn't as great as MANHATTA but Flaherty does a nice job with the cinematography and it's for certain that his images never get you bored or turned off. At just over ten-minutes you see this footage of the city going up and it's done in a stylish way and a way that at least keeps the film moving at a nice pace.
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