Great cinematography on this documentary that explores a very difficult topic. Hard to find answers and even harder to know what to ask. Makes you question the comforts of your own life and how solid your existence is wherever you live. Systems are very complex as is the causes of failure. Thank you to those who made and starred in this film. Perhaps the perceived wandering focus at times is to be expected.
While beautifully shot and featuring compelling subjects, as others have mentioned, the narrative presented by Detropia fails to deepen the historical and economic causes of Detroit's downfall. This leaves a feeling of absence after watching, as though the film wasted its runtime. Still, it does document the urban decay of Detroit well, even if it leaves much to be desired.
It's a good doc but I can't respect it a ton because, aside from the enjoyable cinematography and score (which I actually loved), it doesn't tackle the questions behind Detroit's failure in a very intellectual, historically rich way. It's just kind of touts the run-of-the-mill "oh the auto industry failed and capitalism sucks" story thats really like half the story.
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.
I go to school an hour from Detroit. If it wasn't for the bribe-- erm, scholarship-- I'd be as far from Detroit as possible. The place is desolate. Efforts to revive it are-- like this movie-- either misguided or moronic with the exception of the reforesting movement, which aims to plant trees on abandoned city blocks until the footprint of the lost metropolis surrenders to roots, leaves, and vines.
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.
A documentary about how Detroit has changed, and the people that remain in Detroit, and why they remain in Detroit. The film kept me entertained, showed striking visuals of a beautiful, abandoned city. And I left with a lot more knowledge of what happened to Detroit, and why people are fighting so hard to save what is left of Detroit and make Detroit the great city it once was/
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.
My hometown. A great portrait, imo. A unique city and culture that got "great" because it tied it's star to the car, for better and worse. No real mention of all the sad racism that affected things. Even the little bit of hipsterism didn't bother me; it's there, for better and worse. 4 stars.
A would-be great documentary deserving of a 5 star rating if it weren't for its hijacking by its own hipster-creators who, after exploiting the shit out of its working-class characters, abandon the real story and turn it into a weepy gentrification tale for the globalist archives of the Ford Foundation. Beautiful cinematography/stories, until the smug self-proclaimed "artistes" destroy it.
Four years later and things have only gotten worse - not just in Detroit but elsewhere. The richer gotten richer, the middle class gone for all practical purposes, the ranks of the poor swollen. The rubes continue to drink the corporate media kool-aide and direct their hatred at the wrong people. Thank you Saint Reagan for what you hath wrought.
Beautifully constructed documentary about the decline of Detroit, just one forewarning of capitalism's inevitable inward collapse. I appreciate that this almost exclusively focuses on the actual residents, rather than specialists, scholars, politicians, and lobbyists like many documentaries normally do. The "artists" taking advantage of the city's situation made me sick.
good documentary, but it's subject matter is a little too familiar to be really effective. like others have noted, great cinematography - and it does have a handful of interesting citizens that push this beyond being average and give the material a little more weight.