Battle for Brooklyn
Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky
Director of Photography:
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Battle for Brooklyn was shortlisted for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary.
Battle for Brooklyn explores the poorly understood phenomenon of eminent domain abuse. A feature-length documentary from filmmakers Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley, and David Beilinson, this film investigates how real estate developers, local government, community activists, and the media have clashed over the largest single-source development project ever proposed in New York City. Widely known as the Atlantic Yards project, this undertaking has for the past four years been a major source of contention as local residents resist a billionaire developers attempt to use eminent domain to seize their homes and businesses. Done in the name of development," schemes such as this one eviscerate private property rights and make a mockery of the Fifth Amendment--and yet they freely exploit lucrative taxpayer subsidies, easements, and tax abatements.
For more than four years, Galinsky, Hawley, and Beilinson--partners at the Brooklyn-based film company Rumur Inc.--have filmed the people and events orbiting a plan to build sixteen skyscrapers and a sports and entertainment arena in central Brooklyn. Closely following a local instance of a global phenomenon, Battle for Brooklyn turns the bitter fight over the Atlantic Yards project into an opportunity to explore how eminent domain stories evolve in the media landscape. Freedom depends upon the free flow of information. But when, as in this case, competing, vested interests are all working to shape the story to serve their own ends, it is not at all certain that those who most need the facts have access to them. As much about the American media system as about politics, constitutional rights, and real estate, Battle for Brooklyn asks two pressing, interlocking questions: How has eminent domain abuse affected the lives of Brooklyns citizens?" and Can we fairly say that information is flowing freely when the facts surrounding situations such as the Atlantic Yards project are so poorly understood by the communities they affect?"
2013-08-04 | Battle for Brooklyn screens at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, in New York, NY, at 6:00 p.m. The code BIGSCREEN2013 will save you $2 on pre-sale tickets when you buy them online. Tickets will be $12 (cash only) at the door with no discounts. Click here for more information.
2013-07-27 | Battle for Brooklyn is having a free screening at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, CA, at 10:00 a.m. Click here for more information.
2013-04-20 | Battle for Brooklyn screens at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland, CA. Click here for more information.View full event archive for Battle for Brooklyn ››