Citizen Jane

Citizen Jane

Battle for the City

DVD - 2017
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It is a timely tale of what can happen when engaged citizens fight the power for the sake of a better world. Arguably, no one did more to shape our understanding of the modern American city than Jane Jacobs, the visionary activist and writer who fought to preserve urban communities in the face of destructive development projects. The film vividly brings to life Jacobs' 1960s showdown with ruthless construction kingpin Robert Moses over his plan to raze lower Manhattan to make way for a highway, unleashing a dramatic struggle over the very soul of the neighborhood.
Publisher: [Orland Park, Illinois] : MPI Media Group, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017, Package design
©2016, Program content
ISBN: 9786317008281
Branch Call Number: DVD 307.1216 CITIZEN
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (93 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in
DVD video,4 3/4 in
digital,optical,surround,Dolby digital 5.1
video file,DVD video,region 1
Alternative Title: Battle for the city


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Aug 27, 2018

We admire the impressive buildings and beautiful bridges that make a city attractive, with little thought to what all goes into the actual process of bringing them into being. In congested, populated areas, usually something must be removed in order to build something new. All too often that "something" is people, neighborhoods, homes. What is it that truly makes a city, a city? Robert Moses, the legendary figure who pretty much created the existing NYC infrastructure single-handedly, through determination, chutzpah, and ruthlessness, famously said, "You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs." With alarming frequency, however, too many such eggs were broken without a clear picture of the eventual impact; notably, on people. Jane Jacobs was a journalist who recognized how the soul of a city is in its people, and if you remove the neighborhoods where people can gather, you destroy the city. This documentary gives us a glimpse into what happened when the people of New York City began to stand up to Moses, clamoring to protect their neighborhoods when faced with the bulldozer of progress. We also see what really happens when public housing projects are put in to replace "slums," and the true impact on the life of the neighborhood. Filled with plenty of great archival footage from the mid-century period.

May 11, 2018

This documentary features wonderful vintage video of 1930s New York City. The modernists wanted to eliminate street culture by eliminating streets with sidewalks. The Lower Manhattan Expressway was suppose to connect the Holland Tunnel with the Williamsburg Bridge. Where would all of these cars using the proposed expressway park in Lower Manhattan? I would rate "Citizen Jane" at 4.0 stars.

Tremendous documentary. There should be statues of Jane Jacobs throughout Manhattan. She saved Washington Square Park. She saved lower Manhattan. And she did it with good old fashioned street-heat activism. Plus, she was a gifted writer, a champion of organicism and social well-being, who toppled a political giant, Robert Moses, and in so doing she accurately predicted the failure of high modernism -- the high-rise housing project and the super-highway. This is a must-see film.

Mar 21, 2018

Jane Jacobs, gifted journalist and tenacious activist, taught post-war Americans to look more critically and holistically at what streets and buildings really hold: a community, organized chaos, relational ties, diversity, resilience. This DVD is a well-told tale with original footage from NYC Housing Commissioner Robert Moses, a literal and figurative bulldozer of a man, who met his match in citizen Jane. Moses thought rebuilding "slums" was the best way forward, failing to take a close look at what was really there and the injustice of displacing the poor (usually black) to the job-poor fringes of the city. Jacobs (derided as just a "mom") rallied her troops for protecting Washington Square and the West Village from redevelopment, and stopped the Lower Manhattan Expressway from cutting Manhattan in two. In contrast, the Cross Bronx Expressway could not be stopped and resulted in many severed connections between North and South Bronx that ripples today.
"A well-used city street is apt to be a safe street. A deserted city street is apt to be unsafe. But how does this occur really? There must be eyes upon the street. Eyes belonging to those we may call the natural proprietors of the street. The buildings on a street equipped to handle strangers and to ensure the safety of both residents and strangers must be oriented to the street. They cannot turn their backs or blank sides to it and leave it blind." ~Jane Jacobs.
P.S. If you like this film, her seminal book, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities", is available via the Library.

Mar 16, 2018

This is a MUST WATCH documentary, "Citizen Jane." Jane Jacobs was such an amazing woman and visionary. I can only wish I had a time machine so I could go back and meet her in person.This documentary about her and what she accomplished for the people is the closest we can ever come. Kudos to the filmmakers and those who contributed to it.

Sep 08, 2017

Although I haven't viewed this yet, one should highly recommend anything about Jane Jacobs, as the quintessential activist for all fought against the Big Boys, including Rockefeller and Trump!


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Mar 21, 2018

kpelish thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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