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Detroit: Ruin of a City (2005)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 11 users  
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Detroit, known as Motor City, once the fourth largest city in the United States, home of the Ford Motor Company, General Motors and other major car manufacturers, is nowadays a city in ... See full summary »

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Title: Detroit: Ruin of a City (2005)

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Detroit, known as Motor City, once the fourth largest city in the United States, home of the Ford Motor Company, General Motors and other major car manufacturers, is nowadays a city in serious decline, which has lost more than half its population and much of its real estate. Until recently, residents would celebrate'Devil's Night' on the eve of Halloween by going out and setting fire to dilapidated buildings. Houses, factories, stores, office blocks, theatres, even the railway station, stand in ruins or have disappeared altogether, leaving vast empty lots that have returned to nature. The home of Motown music, Detroit is also the most segregated major city in the United States, and one of the poorest, struggling to provide public services for its needy inhabitants. This film looks back over the history of the city in the twentieth century: over the rise and fall of the social system identified by sociologists as 'Fordism'; the way the city was shaped by the automobile; and its decline... Written by Bristol Docs

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18 March 2005 (USA)  »

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A road trip through the catastrophe of modern Detroit
25 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The strength of this film comes from its depiction of the 'ruins of Detroit,' the bombed-out husks of buildings and post-industrial craters that pockmark the city. It is a fascinating take on the American road trip. Some of the academic commentary interspersed throughout the film feels closer to mere theory than anything truly insightful about the condition of Detroit, but overall, the film is a intriguing document. Its progression from the River Rouge/Henry Ford era to the disaster that Detroit has become makes this a worthy contribution to the category of films dealing with American history. Though some might complain it is long on depressing scenery and short on proposed solutions, that's not really the film's job. It is a document of a particular slice of time in Detroit, ugliness and all.


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