Movie Review: 'Detropia' -- 4 stars
Documentary by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
"Detropia," a remarkable documentary about the current state of things in the struggling city of Detroit, should be required viewing in this presidential election season. In just 90 minutes, filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady evoke the human heart of the economic malaise that's eating away at the core of this country, while pointing the way toward better days ahead.
Incorporating an observational approach, Ewing and Grady lift the lid off a city that's considered the poster child for all that's gone wrong in 21st Century America. The movie owes a great debt to the long tradition of "city symphony" films, presenting an impressionistic collage of scenes derived from everyday life in post-industrial Detroit.
Auto workers meet to face devastating financial cutbacks. The mayor grapples with the miles of unoccupied land and streets of abandoned homes that are the byproduct of his shrinking city. A restaurant/bar owner struggles to stay afloat. A young couple tries to carve out a happy life amid the devastation.
With its poignant images of fleeting beauty amid the urban malaise and its stonehearted subjects, who love their hometown and refuse to abandon it, "Detropia" is both a moving elegy for a faded metropolis and an inspiring portrait of the men and women resolutely carving out its better future.