Twenty 12-year-old black boys from one of the most violent ghettos in Baltimore, Maryland, are taken 10,000 miles away to an experimental boarding school in rural Kenya, to try to take ... See full summary »
An urgent and powerful exploration of the rapid militarization of the police in the United States. Starting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of... See full summary »
With a first-person look at the notorious Crips and Bloods, this film examines the conditions that have lead to decades of devastating gang violence among young African Americans growing up in South Los Angeles.
When Brandy decides to reclaim her life as an actor, the domestic world she's carefully created crumbles around her. Actress is both a present tense portrait of a dying relationship and an ... See full summary »
A raw account of how some of the best architects in the world, design giants like Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry or Zaha Hadid, struggle to beat the competition for the National Museum of Art in ... See full summary »
'Welcome to Leith' is a feature documentary chronicling the attempted takeover of a small town in North Dakota by notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb. Filmed in the days leading up to ... See full summary »
Michael Beach Nichols,
Christopher K. Walker
The woes of Detroit are emblematic of the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base. Is the Midwestern icon actually a canary in the American coal mine? DETROPIA is a cinematic tapestry of a city and its people who refuse to leave the building, even as the flames are rising. Written by
An opera singer calmly walks thru a large room inside a beautiful piece of architecture, a deserted and dilapidated building being devoured by nature. His beautiful song bounces off walls littered with graffiti. Broken windows, piles of rubble, lost jobs, a city in decay, nowhere to go but up, welcome to Detropia.
This movie briefly takes us around Detroit and into the hearts & minds of its sparse population. We see that the only thing surviving and thriving is the indomitable spirit of its citizens. Most documentaries take the approach of inundating us with information. Don't expect to talk to economic experts or politicians, we talk to the ordinary citizen. We watch them live with their difficult day to day existence as they watch the city decay around them, all the while trying to understand complex causes to a complex problem. Solutions seems so distant all they can hope for is a miracle.
Detropia shows the viewer a microcosm of the human condition through conversations with ordinary folks amidst a sea of ruins. The lovely cinematography continuously compares and contrasts beauty with ugliness, despair with hope. We see small flowers growing among the rubble, a bird rests upon a heap of garbage, people smiling and clinging to what little joy they have as they struggle to make ends meet.
This is a wonderful and calm film that will require the viewer to have patience and be in a sombre mood. Expect sadness tinged with brief glimpses of hope and the answer to the question of whether your cup is half full or empty. I'm left with the feeling that the spirit may be strong in Detroit's citizens, but the realities of the world are slowly crushing them. Let us hope the spirit conquers all.
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