Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady
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Detroit was the birthplace of the middle class, an industrial utopia where anyone who worked hard enough could experience the "American dream." Today, Detroit is on the brink of bankruptcy. In the past 10 years this Midwestern icon has lost 25% of its population and 50% of its manufacturing jobs. City officials are in the midst of the most dramatic "downsizing" of an American city ever seen - demolishing thousands of homes, reconsolidating massive tracts of excess land, cutting basic services and encouraging Detroiters in marginal neighborhoods to move. Detroiters who have stuck with the city are at the breaking point. Artists and curious outsiders flock to the city in search of inspiration and opportunity. Racial tension, globalization, lack of innovation and greed has led to a moment of truth for Detroit. How the Motor City reboots itself will set the example for countless other post-industrial cities with similar fates. And today the entire country is watching to see if this storied metropolis has the courage, creativity and grit to reinvent itself -- instead of implode. Detropia is a cinematic tapestry that chronicles the lives of several Detroiters trying to survive the D and make sense of what is happening to their city. An owner of a blues bar, a young blogger, an auto union rep, a group of young artists, an opera impresario and a gang of illegal "scrappers" make up an unlikely chorus that illuminates the tale of both a city and a country in a soul-searching mood, desperate for a new identity.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 38
- Fresh: 32
- Rotten: 6
- Average Rating: 7.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Moving from union hall to town hall, from brutal salary negotiations to contentious plans to create urban farms out of concrete wasteland, the film listens and moves on.
Fresh: A potent snapshot of a potential future for many American cities.
Fresh: City services are shutting down, schools are closing, houses are being demo'd by the thousands - like lights being turned out one by one, "Detropia" powerfully captures a city fighting not to go dark.
Rotten: Artfully - perhaps too artfully - illustrates the transformation of the Motor City from a middle-class utopia to an urban nightmare of blight, crime and fleeing residents.
Capitalism exploits the weak
The entire film sets up the premise that capitalism is bad at 1:20:00 into the film. There is no critical examination of the cause of the abandonment of Detroit other than the typical progressive excuse.
Laughable Entitled Analysis
It seems for the director and writer it is complete mystery why Detriots head for extinction. 40 years of entitlements; 4+ generation on welfare; housing assistance that guaranteed condemnation. Martin Luther rolls in his grave-this is what he died for?
A Documentary with No Answers
I am sure most people already know that Detroit is in the toilet. What I was hoping for was some sort of explanation as to why. We follow a few people through-out; The video blogger; the artistic couple; the union president; and the night club owner. But there is no real perspective as to why this city is so bad off. This city has less than 800K people there now and it used ot have around 2 million. Why? How is it that a city that has been run by unions for decades has such high unenployment and so few prospects? It is bad management by the city leaders that failed to change with the growing needs of its citizens? What factors caused this? Atthe end of the video you are left with some poignant images but nothing more. No substance as to how it happened and no feeling that there is any real hope for Detroit.