With the screening of Kelly Anderson & Allison Lirish Dean's MY BROOKLYN, Filmwax launches its new monthly series entitled BROOKLYN RECONSTRUCTED. Each film in the series, to be screened at The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, will deal with the themes of gentrification & development in Brooklyn. Within those themes is a conversation about race & class in a city undergoing a startling transformation.
Join us for a screening & panel discussion with the filmmakers and representatives from Families United for Racial & Economic Equality (FUREE).
Also joining the post-screening discussion is Tom Angotti, professor of urban studies and a community planning expert.
Synopsis: MY BROOKLYN is a documentary about Anderson’s personal journey, as a Brooklyn “gentrifier,” to understand the forces reshaping her neighborhood along lines of race and class. The story begins when Anderson moves to Brooklyn in 1988, lured by cheap rents and bohemian culture. By Michael Bloomberg’s election as mayor in 2001, a massive speculative real estate boom is rapidly altering the neighborhoods she has come to call home. She watches as an explosion of luxury housing and chain store development spurs bitter conflict over who has a right to live in the city and to determine its future. While some people view these development patterns as ultimately revitalizing the city, to others, they are erasing the eclectic urban fabric, economic and racial diversity, creative alternative culture, and unique local economies that drew them to Brooklyn in the first place. It seems that no less than the city’s soul is at stake.
Meanwhile, development officials announce a controversial plan to tear down and remake the Fulton Mall, a popular and bustling African-American and Caribbean commercial district just blocks from Anderson’s apartment. She discovers that the Mall, despite its run-down image, is the third most profitable shopping area in New York City with a rich social and cultural history. As the local debate over the Mall’s future intensifies, deep racial divides in the way people view neighborhood change become apparent. All of this pushes Anderson to confront her own role in the process of gentrification, and to investigate the forces behind it more deeply.