Michigan Central Station (abandoned since 1988) as seen in DETROPIA, a film by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. Photo credit: Tony Hardmon. Picture courtesy Loki Films. All rights reserved.
- Dan Cogan
- David Menschel
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Opened: 09/07/2012 Limited
|IFC Center||09/07/2012 - 11/08/2012||63 days|
|IFC Center||11/15/2012 - 11/18/2012||4 days|
|IFC Center||12/28/2012 - 01/17/2013||21 days|
Trailer: Click for trailer
The woes of Detroit are emblematic of the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base. Is the Midwestern icon actually a canary in the American coal mine? DETROPIA is a cinematic tapestry of a city and its people who refuse to leave the building, even as the flames are rising.
Detroit was the birthplace of the middle class, an industrial utopia where anyone who worked hard enough could experience the "American dream."
Today, Detroit is on the brink of bankruptcy. In the past 10 years this Midwestern icon has lost 25% of its population and 50% of its manufacturing jobs. City officials are in the midst of the most dramatic "downsizing" of an American city ever seen - demolishing thousands of homes, reconsolidating massive tracts of excess land, cutting basic services and encouraging Detroiters in marginal neighborhoods to move. Detroiters who have stuck with the city are at the breaking point. Artists and curious outsiders flock to the city in search of inspiration and opportunity.
Racial tension, globalization, lack of innovation and greed has led to a moment of truth for Detroit. How the Motor City reboots itself will set the example for countless other post-industrial cities with similar fates. And today the entire country is watching to see if this storied metropolis has the courage, creativity and grit to reinvent itself -- instead of implode.
DETROPIA is a cinematic tapestry that chronicles the lives of several Detroiters trying to survive the D and make sense of what is happening to their city. An owner of a blues bar, a young blogger, an auto union rep, a group of young artists, an opera impresario and a gang of illegal "scrappers" make up an unlikely chorus that illuminates the tale of both a city and a country in a soul-searching mood, desperate for a new identity.
About the Filmmakers
Heidi Ewing (Director/Producer)
Heidi Ewing was born and raised in the Detroit area around a family manufacturing business. DETROPIA is her fourth feature length documentary film and is close to her heart. She and her directing partner Rachel Grady are best known for directing Jesus Camp, a searing look at the Christian right through the eyes of children. The film was nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for Documentary Feature. The duo made their feature doc debut with The Boys of Baraka in 2005., a touching movie that follows inner city boys to a boarding school in rural Kenya. The film was nominated for an Emmy and aired on POV. The directing team recently collaborated with other high profile nonfiction filmmakers for the 2009 omnibus documentary film Freakonomics: The Movie, based on the best-selling book. Their controversial 12th & Delaware, a searing portrait of the battle between a crisis pregnancy center and an abortion clinic, debuted at Sundance in 2010, won a Peabody Award and aired on HBO.
Rachel Grady (Director/Producer)
A private investigator turned filmmaker, Rachel Grady has produced and directed a wide variety of documentaries for HBO, PBS, The Discovery Channel, MTV and A&E. She and her directing partner Heidi Ewing co-directed The Boys of Baraka, the critically acclaimed documentary feature won a 2006 NAACP Image Award and was nominated for an Emmy. Her feature documentary, Jesus Camp, also co-directed with Ewing, chronicles the Evangelical movement through the eyes of children. The film was nominated for an Academy Award. In 2007 Grady and Ewing also collaborated with several high profile nonfiction filmmakers for the omnibus documentary film Freakonomics: The Movie, based on the best-selling book. Grady's last documentary, 12th & Delaware, co-directed with Ewing and winner of a Peabody Award, is a searing portrait of a street corner in Fort Pierce, Florida, where a pro-life crisis pregnancy center and an abortion clinic are locked in battle.
Enat Sidi (Editor)
Enat Sidi has collaborated with Loki Films for over 10 years. She has edited all of the company's feature films to date (Jesus Camp, The Boys of Baraka,12th & Delaware and now, DETROPIA). Sidi also edited many other prestigious and high profile films, including The Betrayal (nominated for an Academy Award) and the popular documentary hit Billy the Kid. She is a native of Tel Aviv but can't wait to visit Detroit live and in person.