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December 28, 2011

Battle for Brooklyn, "community," and the Occupy Wall Street parallel (the massive NYPD response to protest)

Atlantic Yards Report

On watching Battle for Brooklyn yet again, I notice things I didn't emphasize the first time around in my review, things that make the movie both more frustrating and more valuable.

For example, the term "community" is a slippery concept in multiple ways. The movie portrays tensions over the Community Benefits Agreement, ginned up by developer Forest City Ratner to create the appearance of responsibility to the community.

But the "community" of opposition to Atlantic Yards--portrayed, though not sufficiently explained--depends less on those living/working in the project footprint than on those in the surrounding neighborhoods, those who must bear the brunt of the project's impacts.

The film has a neat narrative arc, following the path of activist Daniel Goldstein, but it can leave the impression that the fight is over. Yes, the fight to stop the project is over, and the amount of activism diminished, but, community concerns continue, such as over the lack of a transportation plan as the arena opening approaches.

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Posted by eric at December 28, 2011 11:14 AM