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ZIPPER: Coney Island's Last Wild Ride (2012)

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A story about greed, politics and the land grab of the century, ZIPPER chronicles the battle over an American cultural icon. Small-time ride operator, Eddie Miranda, proudly operates a ... See full summary »

Director:

Amy Nicholson
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Storyline

A story about greed, politics and the land grab of the century, ZIPPER chronicles the battle over an American cultural icon. Small-time ride operator, Eddie Miranda, proudly operates a carnival contraption called the Zipper in the heart of Coney Island's gritty amusement district. When his rented lot is snatched up by a real estate mogul, Eddie and his ride become casualties of a power struggle between the developer and the City of New York over the future of the world-famous destination. Be it an affront to history or simply the path of progress, the spirit of Coney Island is at stake. In an increasingly corporate landscape, where authenticity is often sacrificed for economic growth, the Zipper may be just the beginning of what is lost. Written by Amy Nicholson

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Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | Honduras

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Myrtle & Olive See more »
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Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
A ride out of time
26 August 2017 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

As a kid the only thing I knew about Coney Island is that is where the gang, the Warriors came from. It was never a glamorous place and its fairground rides attractions always gave the appearance of having seen better days.

Amy Nicholson's documentary shows the plight of the working class ride operators, one of whom owns and operates the Zipper ride, at risk with the increased gentrification of New York city and the machinations of politicians and real estate developers. The developers buy up land and take a punt that re-development will be allowed in the future, thus they will be seating in a gold mine. We get a brief glimpse of a past developer who attempted to buy land in the 1960s, Fred Trump, father of that famous friend of the working man, Donald.

Of course, despite statistics showing increased visitors to Coney Island, it was only a matter of time that city officials would have plans to spruce it up and this means bringing private investment. Joe Sitt (with a missing H) is the real estates mogul who has been buying up land and who has grandiose plans for a new Coney Island. We see him repeatedly reel of some of the big chain names that have shown an interest.

Sitt is plainly painted as a villain in a documentary which portrays its heroes and villains in black and white.

I have grown up in seaside towns in decline with its fair share of shady characters and dicey ride operators. Although local residents are painted as colourful and real, I just felt that there was something artificial about it all.

It is a shame that the rides were being taken down yet looking back at the film The Warriors released back in 1979, maybe it was about time progress was made.


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