DETROPIA

HEIDI EWING, RACHEL GRADY

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Detroit, once America’s fastest growing city, home to Motown and the bustling U.S. automobile industry, has suffered a long and painful decline in recent decades, exacerbated by the recent financial crisis: its population is now less than half of its 1950s figure; unemployment is unofficially estimated to be close to 50%; and the city is littered with abandoned houses, factories and commercial properties.

Directors Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, Detroit natives, follow a handful of residents who still haven’t given up hope that the city will somehow turn itself around, including an auto workers union leader and the owner of a struggling blues club. Poetic and elegiac in tone, the film nonetheless offers a stark warning of the consequences of crushing financial reality, something with which Irish audiences can surely empathise.

This film is showing as part of the IFI Stranger Than Fiction Festival 2012, Dublin’s Documentary Festival

 

 

90 minutes, U.S.A., 2012, Colour.

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