Welcome to the city of Detroit, ‘the Murder Capital of the USA’, where the grass is growing over the parking lots and the houses are abandoned. Here, a new life is slowly beginning to take form and take over the deserted city. But even if the writing on the wall has a different and more apocalyptic meaning, there is no reason to panic. Detroit Wild City looks with the wandering gaze and cool, philosophical distance of the outsider at the changes in urban landscapes in a historical moment when a ‘post-’ is written before ‘utopias’, ‘humanity’ and ‘dollar capitalism’. Invisible disasters have ruined the city, and all that is left are traces in the form of radio adverts about debt relief, flocks of stray dogs, and a mysterious pile of burned New Age books. But on the fringes of it all, people have started to reorganize themselves in autonomous societies, where settlers are growing vegetables and still believe in the future – just not as an extension of the present. Florent Tillon keeps a level head and like a French Jim Jarmusch he turns his selective camera to where new ideas grow in the ruins of the 20th century’s belief in eternal progress. And where the knowledge that something new is going to happen is a rare piece of good news. –CPH:DOX
Florent Tillon (b. New Caledonia, South Pacific) now lives in Paris. In his work he focuses chiefly on the landscape and endeavors to capture the fusion of nature with culture. As a self-taught filmmaker he first came up with the documentary Observatory (L’observatoire, 2007), which was followed by an hour-long film about a rabbit colony trapped in the middle of a roundabout in the centre of Paris, Porte Maillot Traffic Circle (Rond-point de la Porte Maillot, 2007). This film delighted producer Pierre-Emmanuel Fleurantin to the extent that he invited Tillon to collaborate on the documentary Detroit Wild City (Detroit ville sauvage, 2010). Other films: Las Vegas Meditation (2009), Gran Scala, the Last Western (Gran Scala, le dernier western, 2009). –KVIFF
The poetry of post-rapture emptiness is simply stunning. Yes, probably there are other Detroit-themed films with a more hands-on approach to storytelling but this is a city symphony at its' best, on a par with the 1920s' greats. One can only hope that Florent Tillon's career is long and lucrative and he'll be able to cover a lot of ground — literally.
Paved with good intentions, but ultimately falls flat in a market already over saturated with documentaries about Detroit. Stick with Detroit Lives or even Animal Cops Detroit for a more absorbing portrait of the city and its residents.
An elegy for a city. A word of warning to the dying of capitalism in America. The factories close leaving behind the workers. They lose their jobs, their homes, their abilities to cloth and feed themselves. Left behind the buildings, the homes ; remnants of past prosperity. Film tries to leave some hope with a 'back to the earth' message but neither the people uddering it or us watching it believe it. Beware.