Three-time New York City Mayor (1978-1989) Ed Koch was combative, funny, and blunt. He was also intensely private. 'Koch' gives us a contemporary history of the world's greatest city, and an intimate portrait of the 86-year old former mayor, as he confronts his own mortality and legacy. The film examines issues still relevant today - race, homelessness, AIDS, and gay rights - and gives us a window into the trials and tribulations of the nation's most famous mayor in the world's most wondrous city.Written by
Excellent Documentary us back in time with Ed Koch
I saw a preview screening of Koch sponsored by the Austin Film Society. It is a excellent documentary that presents an honest human portrait of the iconic larger-than-life one-time New York mayor who came to symbolize his great city. While the recently-deceased Ed Koch cooperated and was extensively interviewed in 2010 for the film, it is neither hagiography or a political hit piece. It is fair-minded and shows Koch as a politician who had great successes and great failures.
We see Koch go from a crusading liberal in the 1960s to a more conservative pro-business politician in the 1980s. We hear the criticism of his opponents and the praise of his friends. We see his successes in housing and city finances and his highly controversial actions to close a Harlem hospital and break a transit workers strike. The film is empathetic to the older Koch, but also shows him making unflattering comments. In one scene, he argues with a nephew against efforts to build a mosque downtown near the site of the former WTC. He seems to be siding with highly intolerant forces who took up that cause. He often seems to have problems with the African-American community. Koch was a controversial figure and the film capture him in all his complexity and cantankerousness. For folks who grew up watching Ed Koch the film is a trip down memory lane. I recommend it strongly to fans of political documentaries - whether or not you were a fan of The Mayor.
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