Battling the man in Brooklyn: can one man stand in the way of devastating progress as a neighborhood is sacrificed to a oligarchic developer’s profit? In Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley’s Oscar-shortlisted longitudinal doc, “Battle for Brooklyn” follows several years in the life of Daniel Goldstein and his family, renters in the Prospect Heights neighborhood who are besieged by an especially shabby case of eminent domain abuse on the part of Bloomberg’s New York City. Twenty-two acres of residential-commercial Brooklyn are to be turned over to Bruce Ratner, whose $1.6 billion basketball-stadium-driven project loses a star architect, its luster and most of its reason for being as buildings fall left and right. Goldstein’s the lone holdout: how long will the law let him stand? The once-glorious genteel-shabby neighborhood is lost to “the reality: this is a land grab.” Six years of principled battle: who will win? Yup. It’s an infuriating document. 93m. HDCAM. (Ray Pride)
“Battle for Brooklyn” plays Friday, Tuesday and Thursday at Siskel. A trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.