Requiem for Detroit? (2010 TV Movie)
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I suspect that the majority of the positive reviews don't know the history of the area very well. While it's not factually incorrect, it is so light on the details and motivations that surround the events that I couldn't recommend this to anyone.
I'm still looking for a more cohesive film that explores the history of Detroit. If you know of one please let me know.
Temple's documentary is a strong message of what can happen should the worst happen. It reminded me of how reliant we are on the promises of big business and when the power goes out it might not come back on.
Having never been to Detroit I wondered how this once burgeoning city, like all cities, could fall and emerge in the modern world like a post-apocalypse disaster town, where anarchy ruled. The word 'apocolypse' comes from ancient Greek and it translates as 'rebirth' (sic) and anarchy in Detroit is not as bad as it seems to Temple, as the city can only pick itself up from rock bottom.
The documentary is solid and provides an insight into a city that is the butt of a lot of jokes in the US. This city is no joke if we take the future of capitalism seriously and Temple's Requiem For Detroit will be remembered as a non-sectarian view of capitalism gone awry.
And wow, what a mess this documentary is (there is not polite word for it) it is a cluster#**k of a story. They took some decent narratives by the people they interviewed, and dropped completely random footage, music, and history over the top of it in no order what-so-ever.
If there is any "order" to this mess, it is "things were good, it's bad now. Things were bad, it's bad now. Things were good, it's bad now." If ending with "it's bad now" tells a story, I guess? But, they told this story so horribly, they jumped right from "Paris of the Midwest" to "race riots" to "high center of fashion in the US and children safe an no one had to watch them" without ANY transitions Just giving extreme examples of raising wages of American workers, to race tension, to WWII hero's, to violent race issues (again), to cultural melting pot, to poverty, back to beacon of culture, with no transitions or reasons, over and over. Dramatic? YES. Reasonable explanations? No.
Sure, Detroit's history is complex. But if this documentary explains it, it's in a way that says "on Monday, Wednesdays, and Friday, Detroit is wealthy, happy, safe, and booming, but on Tuesday and Thursday they are violent and irrational. Oh, but on weekends they were poor but friendly. See how easy it is to understand?" ? WHAT?
The documentary does document some of the more epic moments of Detroit's history, but they are pulled so out of context, and mixed up in the weird blender of this director and producer that it's just almost pointless to even watch.
I found the film condescending with so many unnecessary/distracting sound effects & ridiculous song choices, eg: 'Dancing in the Street' during a riot, and the music kept changing throughout. I think it was an insensitive, poorly thought-out advent, after some quick something from someone close.
I don't recommend it for anyone wishing to learn something here.