Documentary: Detropia (2012). The following synopsis was written by Caroline Libresco: Detroit’s story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century – the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now . . . the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos.
With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, Detropia sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. These soulful pragmatists and stalwart philosophers strive to make ends meet and make sense of it all, refusing to abandon hope or resistance. Their grit and pluck embody the spirit of the Motor City as it struggles to survive post-industrial America and begins to envision a radically different future.
For anyone that has been following the story of Detroit’s bankruptcy or the state of pension plans in America – topics covered here and here – this documentary adds to the picture. A picture of a country stumbling towards a future of widening income and wealth gaps.