NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Detropia Film Review

By     get stories by email

Cautionary Expose' Warns of Detroit's Impending Demise

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady are a couple of inspired filmmakers who have kept their finger on the pulse since founding Loki Films a decade ago. Among the frequent collaborators' timely offerings are such critically-acclaimed documentaries as Oscar-nominated Jesus Camp (2006), the NAACP Image Award-winning The Boys of Baraka (2005) and the Peabody Award-winning 12th & Delaware (2010).

The talented pair's latest tour de force is Detropia, a pessimistic expose' chronicling the blight which has permeated Detroit, an enveloping decay heralding the perhaps impending demise of a once prestigious metropolis. Whether a cautionary tale or already a post mortem, the picture is most reminiscent of Michael Moore's Roger & Me (1989).

de
However, instead of searching for a missing, Michigan auto industry executive responsible for outsourcing, Ewing & Grady simply sought to preserve for posterity stark images of a ghost town resulting from callous, corporate cost-cutting measures. Detropia carefully constructs an impressionistic cinematic collage of a disturbing dystopia, alternating back and forth between arresting tableaus of an aging, urban exoskeleton and the plaintive laments of citizens swept up in a desperate struggling for survival.

For instance, we learn that so many manufacturing jobs have been downsized that half of Detroit's population has disappeared into thin air. Consequently, it is easy to find entire city blocks virtually abandoned, where only a handful of homes remain occupied.

Exasperated Mayor Dave Bing, a former NBA star with the Detroit Pistons, freely acknowledges that he has 40 square miles of vacant land on his hands. And equally-frustrated George McGregor, President of a United Auto Workers Local 22, finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to negotiate with a multinational company more than willing to relocate union jobs to Mexico.

Still, not all have lost hope in the midst of the misery. Consider the pranksters who altered the sign above a shuttered "AUTO PARTS" store to read "UTOPIA." Then there are the picketing, performance artists dressed like decadent 1%ers who satirize the rich by demanding money of perturbed passersby.

A simultaneously surrealistic and sobering warning that the Motor City's host of woes might be coming soon to a town near you.

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 90 minutes

Distributor: Loki Films

To see a trailer for Detropia:

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

The documentary film focuses on the lives of underpaid workers at Manhattan's Hot & Crusty (H&C) bakery where the Latino staff members are underpaid and their complaints are not heard.
A conversation with actor Dolph Lundgren delves into combating global sex trafficking as an action hero on screen, trading in brains for brawn as a former Fulbright Scholar
This spring alone, Zoe has a half-dozen films released in theaters, including the blockbusters Insurgent and Mad Max: Fury Road, as well as Good Kill, The Road Within, Dope and Treading Water. Here, she talks about life and about her latest movies.
Alice, a manic depressive bipolar diehard Oprah fan becomes rich, and creates a TV series about herself, an emotional exhibitionist who couch potatoes love.
Rose sat down to talk about the Ross Katz directed bittersweet dramady, while finishing off an alfalfa burger and diving into an accompanying plate of fries.
And 'how the art world stopped thinking about inequality and learned to love the bling.'

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site