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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Decent doc, which uses great cinematography, music, and above all interesting characters to convey the struggles of Detroit and America at large. However, for most people it holds little new information.
Driven by a few robust characters and a few wonderful scenes, Detropia is well worth a watch despite finding itself lacking a distinct & central through line. However, It does quite a clever job of connecting seemingly disparate characters and is tied together by a thoughtful score by detroit's own Dial81.
Sobering, if a bit unfocused, documentary detailing the decline of Detroit, a once booming city that has lost over half its population as its manufacturing jobs have left the country. Exposes the fear and unease as residents search for hope in an increasingly complex situation. A disturbing requiem for a city that is representative of a much greater national problem.
Nice DLSR cinematography but fails to frame an insightful picture of anything about Detroit (historically, structurally, or economically). The weaving of 4 to 5 narratives (Raven Lounge, UAW, opera, video blogger, et al.) attempts to create a comprehensive image of the subjectivities in the city, but feels more one-sided, with the brief interview with the Mayor. Rather than watching it, just go visit Detroit.
This film's struggle is that it pulls itself in three directions. It wants to let the people it focuses on to speak for themselves, but also provide a scathing look at the tragedy of the situation. But it also indulges itself in the surreality of a city being so decrepit and falling apart adding characters to play this up. Any of these goals would work if fleshed out. I just wish each player had more time to speak.
This tells the truth of the cycle of Capitalism as it affects the "cells" of the once great body of Detroit. We see the birth of the auto mecca turned into a soured landscape. A current parallels is with Walmart who destroys a mom & pop area and then struggles against Amazon, forcing the Walmart to close. The film offers hope of a rebirth, but rebirth as a different thing entirely. Painful as it is there is hope.