Still from Detropia
Sundance Film Festival
Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
Creating a documentary focused on a place, rather than a person or an event, is no easy task. Choosing Detroit seems like a subject that would be riddled with clichés about the failure of the American dream. Detropia could have easily been an incoherent mess of interviews with unemployed autoworkers and cutaways to the often-photographed crumbling buildings of inner city Detroit. Luckily, Ewing and Grady have created something that moves beyond the typical clichés of Detroit. While the cinematography is obviously beautiful, the story is an insightful look at what capitalism does to the weak. Through a series of interviews with many members of Detroit’s community (not just the unemployed auto-workers) and shocking statistics about job loss and population decline in what was once America’s fastest growing city, Grady and Ewing not only reveal how Detroit has struggled, but why, and what has been attempted to do to slow their decline. Detropia also explores the unexpected effects that come from living in a city where property value has plummeted. Although Michigan has lost 50 percent of its manufacturing jobs, there are nearly 100,000 abandoned homes and only 800,000 living in the city, downtown Detroit has actually seen a 59 percent increase of young people moving in, many of them interested in creating art. Overall, Detropia encapsulates what it means to be a major city attempting to stay relevant in a post-industrial world.
Time: 9:00 pm Date: 1/23/2012 Venue: Screening Room, Sundance Resort
Time: 8:30 am Date: 1/25/2012 Venue: Library Center Theatre
Time: 3:30 pm Date: 1/27/2012 Venue: Redstone Cinema 8
Time: 12:00 pm Date: 1/28/2012 Venue: Salt Lake City Library