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July 25, 2011

My Brooklyn: The Battle for the Soul of the City (movie)

MCMI Report

Over the last 10 years I have witnessed a battle for property rights, seen people’s homes seized by the government under immenent domain laws, stores get priced out of neighborhoods and huge corporations and developers build skyscrapers with luxury condos for millionaires to live in, while displacing the community that was here. Much of this is being done to make way for the Atlantic Yards project, which is building a stadium to house the Nets basketball team in Brooklyn. A lot of us were rooting for that to happen. Hometown hero Jay-Z even got involved, investing in the project and promoting it heavily. So what’s wrong with that, you say? What’s wrong with corporations taking over and making money in Brooklyn? Why is it a bad thing that luxury condos mean that more millionaires will be living among us? Won't that be good for the local economy? Won't it create jobs?

Well, that is the argument that Mayor Bloomberg and the investors are making. To hear the flipside of this argument, check out the videos below, which include excerpts of local residents expressing their concerns, their hopes for the neighborhoods they live in and how the development is impacting the block.


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Kickstarter, My Brooklyn: A Documentary project in Brooklyn, NY by Kelly Anderson & Allison Lirish Dean

Battle for Brooklyn got made thanks to the several hundred people who backed the film via its Kickstarter campaign. The My Brooklyn filmmakers have also turned to Kickstarter to raise the funds to finish their film.

My Brooklyn chronicles the dramatic changes that have occurred in Brooklyn over the past ten years, and shows how these changes are not natural, but fueled by public policy. The film documents how an obsession with upscale environments driven by the the Wall Street bubble is threatening the very economic, racial, and ethnic diversity and neighborhood character that have historically drawn many generations to Brooklyn, and made it unique. This process has led to a fierce battle over the soul of the city, the themes of which resonate with urban communities across the county.

The $20,000 we hope to raise through kickstarter.com will be used to hire an editor to finish the film. Kelly Anderson (the director) has been editing, and we have a strong rough cut, but we need to bring in an outside eye to make the arguments clear and have the film sing! Thanks for your help in getting us to the finish line.

Click here to join NoLandGrab in making a pledge.

Posted by eric at July 25, 2011 1:00 PM