7.0/10
440
9 user 20 critic

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (2016)

Trailer
1:49 | Trailer
Writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs fights to save historic New York City during the ruthless redevelopment era of urban planner Robert Moses in the 1960s.

Director:

Matt Tyrnauer
3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Citizen Jane (TV Movie 2009)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Jane Alexander, an attractive, athletic San Francisco woman, is enjoying a comfortable life in Pacific Heights with the man she loves, handsome, charismatic Tom O'Donnell. Jane's idyllic ... See full summary »

Director: Armand Mastroianni
Stars: Ally Sheedy, Meat Loaf, Nia Peeples
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A look at the life of legendary fashion designer Valentino.

Director: Matt Tyrnauer
Stars: Valentino Garavani, Giancarlo Giammetti, Nati Abascal
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A portrait of unsung Hollywood legend Scotty Bowers, whose bestselling memoir chronicled his decades spent as sexual procurer to the stars.

Director: Matt Tyrnauer
Stars: Scotty Bowers, Lois Bowers, William Mann
Studio 54 (2018)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of the notorious 1970s New York City nightclub.

Director: Matt Tyrnauer
Stars: Ian Schrager, Steve Rubell, Donald Rubell
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Roy Cohn personified the dark arts of American politics, turning empty vessels into dangerous demagogues - from Joseph McCarthy to his final project, Donald J. Trump.

Director: Matt Tyrnauer
Stars: Roy M. Cohn, Ken Auletta, Marie Brenner
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, among the most thoughtful, innovative, and rebellious architects of his generation, reflects on his work past and present. We see a master in ... See full summary »

Director: Matt Tyrnauer
Dina (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An eccentric suburban woman and a Walmart door greeter navigate their evolving relationship in this unconventional love story.

Directors: Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles
Stars: Dina Buno, Scott Levin, Frank Costanzo
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary about rock 'n' roll photographer Robert M. Knight and his mission to find the world's best new guitar player.

Director: John Chester
Stars: Robert Knight, Jeff Beck, Slash
Facing Ali (2009)
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Ten of Muhammad Ali's former rivals pay tribute to the three-time world heavyweight champion.

Director: Pete McCormack
Stars: George Chuvalo, Henry Cooper, George Foreman
Pavilion (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Tim Sutton's debut feature, likened to films by Gus Van Sant and Pedro Costa, follows a laconic teenager (Max) who moves from an idyllic lakeside town to his father's home in arid suburban ... See full summary »

Director: Tim Sutton
Stars: Addie Bartlett, Aaron Buyea, Zach Cali
Arthur Miller: Writer (TV Movie 2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Rebecca Miller's film is a portrait of her father, his times and insights, built around impromptu interviews shot over many years in the family home. This celebration of the great American ... See full summary »

Director: Rebecca Miller
Stars: Joan Allen, Joan Copeland, Peter Falk
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Thomas Campanella Thomas Campanella ... Himself
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Robert Moses (voice)
Mindy Fullilove Mindy Fullilove ... Herself
Alexander Garvin Alexander Garvin ... Himself
Paul Goldberger Paul Goldberger ... Himself
Steven Johnson Steven Johnson ... Himself
Geeta Mehta Geeta Mehta ... Herself - Architect
Max Page Max Page ... Himself
Mary Rowe Mary Rowe ... Herself
Michael Sorkin Michael Sorkin ... Himself
Marisa Tomei ... Jane Jacobs (voice)
Edit

Storyline

The battle in how the urban form of New York City in particular was shaped in the mid-twentieth century is presented, the two leading figures on the opposing sides of the battle being Robert Moses, who held many senior positions related to development of urban infrastructure, and Manhattan resident and journalist Jane Jacobs, author of "The Death and Life of Great American Cities". In this battle, Moses disregarded Jacobs as a "mere housewife" and a nuisance of one at that. As was the prevailing trend of the time, Moses was in the camp of demolishing what he saw as not working to build homogeneous neighborhoods in style and function - most buildings several stories high or taller in the need to accommodate a growing population - that were largely supported by urban freeways or expressways to move people from the burgeoning affluent suburbs to jobs in the urban center. Many of the urban housing developments were social housing for those who could not afford to live in the suburbs, and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fifty years ago, one women fought for the people of New York City. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,451, 23 April 2017

Gross USA:

$313,411

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$323,124
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Altimeter Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Robert Moses: Today, our greatest single problem is tenant removal.
See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Great documentary on urbanist Jane Jacobs
25 May 2017 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"Citizen Jane - Battle for the City" (2017 release; 92 min.) is a documentary about Jane Jacobs, and opens with a quote from her 1961 classic book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities". In the movie's introduction, we are reminded that urbanization is increasing at record pace (along with stunning photography of some of the world's largest cities). We then go back in time and are introduced to Robert Moses, a New York politician and head of the NY Committee of Slums Clearance (among many other Committees). It is on Moses' behest that New York is massively redoing certain parts of the city, not just to 'clear the sums' but also to make way (literally) for the American car. Jane Jacobs, a journalist by trade, observes it all, and starts developing a radically different approach. Then one Moses threatens to 'redo' the West Village/Greenwich Village area, where Jacobs lives... To tell you more of the story would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest documentary from director-producer Matt Tyrnauer. Here he tackles the subject matter of urban design, something I am not an expert in but very much interested in (having lived in large cities most of my life). While the battle between Moses and Jacobs rages, we see fascinating archive footage of what certain sections of New York looked like, before they were rebuilt/destroyed (take your pick). Sizeable attention is given to the rise (and eventual demise) of massive and cookie-cutter "public housing" complexes from the 50s and 60s. Late in the documentary, someone observes :China today is Moses on steroids". If you have visited China, it's impossible to miss these complexes, based on what we did here in the US half a century ago (and knowing that they eventually failed). Tyrnauer has tons of interviews spliced throughout the movie. Last but certainly not least, there is a delightful (and Philip Glass-reminding) original score, composed by Jane Antonia Cornish.

"Citizen Jane - Battle for the City" opened this past weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Tuesday evening screening where I saw this at was attended so-so (but of course it was a weeknight). I hope good word-of-mouth will carry this documentary forward, be it in the theater, on Amazon Instant Video, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray. If you love a good documentary and/or are interested in urban design, you cannot go wrong with this. "Citizen Jane - Battle for the City" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed