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197 Ratings


Directed by Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
United States, 2012


The woes of Detroit are emblematic of the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base. Detropia is a cinematic tapestry of a city and its people who refuse to leave the building, even as the flames are rising.

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Detropia Directed by Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady

Awards & Festivals

Sundance Film Festival

2012 | 2 wins including: Documentary (Editing Award)

National Board of Review

2012 | Winner: Top Five Documentaries

Gotham Awards

2012 | Nominee: Best Documentary

The tone-poem cine-essay—favoring postcard panoramas, lulling music and unexpected tangents—is a difficult mode to pull off, and Detropia finally succumbs to its own arty shapelessness.
January 10, 2013
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Detropia, the fascinating new documentary by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (who most recently collaborated on Jesus Camp) is a kind of horror film, but instead of people being menaced by monsters or psychopaths, the “killer” is urban neglect. And like the prototypical movie-world zombie, it tends to move in slow motion and it feeds on the living.
October 18, 2012
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The movie’s attempt to position Detroit as the canary in the coal mine—there but for the grace of God goes any other city—falls flat, but it isn’t a fatal flaw. It might not happen in any city, but for it to happen to one is bad enough.
September 06, 2012
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