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Compelling documentary

6/10
Author: evening1 from United States
27 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What ever happened to the Rust Belt? This lovingly photographed documentary will give you an idea as it focuses on those left behind by the death of the steel industry -- as well as newcomers who wish to work in its wake.

This documentary has such a boring title. But its parade of portraits is extremely appealing. You have an eccentrically elegant 89-year-old artist in a house full of chotchkes, a wheelbarrow-toting man who chose Braddock as a site for urban agriculture, a grizzled military veteran who gives his beloved pigeons and exotic roosters the run of his house, and a young widow who casually notes the sound of gunfire in the distance.

Most memorable is Braddock's fireplug of a mayor -- a young man whose personal commitment to the borough is documented by the local ZIP code he has tattooed on his arm -- along with the death dates of victims of area street violence.

I grew up in Pittsburgh, yet I never knew about the charms of neighboring Braddock. I'll look forward to taking a more appreciative drive-through the next time I go home to see my folks.

But I think this film will also have awakened my appreciation of lots of other places that time may seem to have passed by. If you look, there's lots that is left...

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