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Monday, 08 October 2012 15:34

'Detropia' details Detroit’s ups and downs

detropiathemovie.com detropiathemovie.com
Written by Diane Carson
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  • Director: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
  • Dates: October 12-14, 2012

Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s documentary "Detropia" is a lovely, profoundly sad elegy to the once powerful city of Detroit. By the conclusion, the situation has begun minimal but crucial improvement, but along the way, numerous individuals speak emotionally and poignantly of much more prosperous times for the middle class, in particular.

Those eloquently describing their experiences include: Crystal Starr, a Detroit video blogger; George McGregor, president of UAW’s Local 22; Tommy Stephens, owner of the still busy Raven Lounge; and David Dichiera, director of the Michigan Opera Theater. Their strength and determination is inspirational. On screen titles add context. In 1930 Detroit was the fastest growing city in the world; it’s now the fastest shrinking. In the last 10 years, Michigan has lost 50% of its manufacturing jobs.

While we may know many of these statistics, what "Detropia" does is show the reality, giving them substance and specificity. Many shots of the city capture the beauty that lingers, making the hope that keeps these residents hanging on downright exhilarating. Periodic visits to the opera and operatic music that occasionally provides a backdrop adds buoyancy. Detroit is fortunate to have such a fine documentary detailing its demise and now its positive improvements.

The St. Louis premiere of "Detropia" is at Webster University’s Winifred Moore auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 12th through Sunday, October 14th. For information and the current schedule, you may call 314-968-7487 or go to the web at: Webster.edu/filmseries.
 

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