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

A gifted writer, Brooke penned the New York Times best-seller Down Came the Rain and a couple of well-received children's books. She lives in New York City.
Thanksgiving is worth celebrating with the latest movies of the week together with family and friends. Post-thanksgiving weekeends also call for dining out and watching movies as well!
Doctors didn't buy the babysitter's story that it was all the result of an accident. Proof rested in the fact that the creep quickly slipped out of town before subsequently disappearing from the radar entirely.
Directed by Francis Lawrence, the movie stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, supported by Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch...
Horrible Bosses 2 does have its moments, a captivating car chase during which our heroes drag a chain link fence onto the freeway while on the run from the authorities.
The Thanksgiving celebration will be more lavish and fabulous when family sit together to watch the fresh DVD releases for this week!

 

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