For those people living in Australia, you now have an opportunity to watch the Oscar-nominated (long list) feature length documentary The Battle for Brooklyn, which describes a lengthy redevelopment battle that took place in downtown Brooklyn. I originally wrote about this film in a blog post last December. The film premieres on Australian television on Sunday 15 July 2012 on ABC2 at 8.30pm.
In my most recent trip to the USA, I met Daniel Goldstein – effectively the star (and reluctant hero) of the doco and the story. He gave me a tour of the areas of Brooklyn affected by the redevelopment. Here are two photos which I took of Daniel near the new sports arena (sadly, now, under construction; they lost):
Here is a scene from one of the local streets, and another with the sports arena rising in the background:
And viewers in Perth have a special treat. The Perth Film Festival actually screens this film this coming Friday, July 13th. See it with an audience!
Touching, profound, personal, political. Lest you think redevelopment battles died with Jane Jacobs (urban activist and author of one of the great books of my life, The Death and Life of American Cities) in the 1960s. Jacobs, by the way, passed away in April 2006, just before her ninetieth birthday.
Goldstein lives, however, and a new generation of American urban activists takes heart from his brave and exhausting battle.