Is Detroit the proverbial canary in the coal mine for all of the dying Rust Belt cities? This is a question asked by Detropia, the new documentary from directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp). This powerful, elegiac film examines many of the main issues afflicting Detroit – loss of manufacturing, decline of the population and the gridlock between government & business which has made recovery not only difficult but seeming out-of-reach for many of the residents. The documentary lets Detroit residents speak from their heart about the long, slow death of their beloved city and its profound impact on their lives. It also shows that Detroit is not alone in this, it just serves as the first major American industrial city being written off as an externality of late-stage capitalism and free-trade.
Eschewing the normal focus on the beautiful ruins alone (‘ruin porn’), Detropia looks into lives of several people – a crusading video blogger, owner of a local tavern near a GM plant, newly-transplanted artists living near downtown, president of local UAW union, the embattled mayor and other voices, which is a strength of the film.
Read the rest of the review at MILE HIGH CINEMA
Go see the film this weekend! Bring friends.