In Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City, live many immigrants coming from South America, Mexico, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and China. The movie, shot in eight weeks in the summer of 2014, follows the lives of Jackson Heights people.
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Wiseman’s themes are diversity and gentrification, but also the democratic act of organization and the political power of unity. The meetings he captures convey a sense of urgency, that we must unite ourselves for nobody else can do it for us. This activism and political presence, it seems, is woven into the fabric of the community of Jackson Heights.
Necessarily wandering, Wiseman gains access to so many pockets of the diverse Jackson Heights and allows the material to speak for itself. As such it's one of the most scathing indictments of gentrification I can think of; not for any grand conclusion of social injustice, but rather here is an area where community exists. Simply we see people at perhaps their best, united, rebuilding a society to function.
In Wiseman's typical fashion there's plenty of stuff that could have been cut, but we all know that won't happen. Nevertheless its keen eye finds glorious moments in its multifaceted subject and delivers a beautiful tapestry of multiculturalism in America while also being critic about the danger of displacement.
Great 'fly on the wall' viewpoint on this town flourished with culture, facing the imminent doom of gentrification, politics, and various inner city biases. I personally have not seen a documentary do as good a job to place me in an environment without direction, just listening/watching humans interact. It could be shortened IMO, but ever scene held an interest that I understand would be hard to cut away from.