Detroit’s story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century— the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now . . . the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos.
With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, Detropia sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. As houses are demolished by the thousands, automobile-company wages plummet, institutions crumble, and tourists gawk at the “charming decay,” the film’s vibrant, gutsy characters glow and erupt like flames from the ashes. These soulful pragmatists and stalwart philosophers strive to make ends meet and make sense of it all, refusing to abandon hope or resistance. Their grit and pluck embody the spirit of the Motor City as it struggles to survive postindustrial America and begins to envision a radically different future. –Sundance Film Festival
As the co-owner of the New York-based production company, Loki Films, Heidi has taken on a wide range of subjects that includes the inner workings of Scientology, ritualistic body modification in Sri Lanka and the labyrinth that is the criminal justice system in the Bronx. Previously, she delved in the dramatic world of Cuban politics with Dissident, a film about the struggle of Havana-based Nobel Peace Prize nominee Oswaldo Paya – a film that was made clandestinely and has been shown around the world. She and her directing partner Rachel Grady, recently co-directed The Boys of Baraka, the critically acclaimed documentary feature that was released by ThinkFilm in 2005. Her latest feature documentary, Jesus Camp, also co-directed with Grady, chronicles the Evangelical movement through the eyes of children. The film, a collaboration with A&E IndieFilms, made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006 and was released theatrically by Magnolia Pictures before being nominated… read more
The co-director of the Emmy-nominated documentary The Boys of Baraka, which also won the 2006 NAACP award for Outstanding Independent Film, Rachel is a private investigator turned filmmaker. Rachel has produced and directed numerous non-fiction films for MTV, CBS, The Discovery Channel, A & E and Britain’s Channel 4. She has directed several films that focus on mental illness including Mad Justice, a verité documentary that looks at the troubling fate of mentally ill parolees and Ward 2 West, shot on location at the Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in New York City. Rachel was the Series Producer for TX, an eight-part series for VH1 filmed entirely on location at drug rehab. She recently completed her second documentary feature, Jesus Camp, which was nominated for an Academy Award and aired on television worldwide. In 2007 Time Magazine included Rachel as one of five innovators in documentary film. Rachel is the co-founder of Loki Films. She and Ewing are currently working with… read more
A solid doc that was shot well and had some interesting subjects with a central through line that covers the same issues we've all heard about that are eating away at America.
An overview of what the critics are saying about the winners.
The doc may well be “achingly beautiful,” but have images of “post-industrial” ruin become fetishized?
Also: The race for the Oscar for Foreign Language Film is down to nine films. DVDs and more.
I read an article not long ago that cited the TruTV program Hardcore Pawn as one of the biggest boons to Detroit’s failing economy in a long time. The pawn shop depicted in the show, American Jewelry… read review