My Brooklyn chronicles the dramatic changes that have occurred in Brooklyn over the past ten years, and shows how these changes are not natural, but fueled by public policy. The film documents how an obsession with upscale environments driven by the the Wall Street bubble is threatening the very economic, racial, and ethnic diversity and neighborhood character that have historically drawn many generations to Brooklyn, and made it unique. This process has led to a fierce battle over the soul of the city, the themes of which resonate with urban communities across the county.
Over the past ten years, more than one hundred rezonings have taken place in New York City, spurring a resurgence of large-scale development not seen in half a century. Meanwhile, the latest Census data shows New York City becoming more segregated by race and income. Historically black sections of Brooklyn have become both whiter and richer, and hundreds of small businesses have vanished. My Brooklyn acknowledges that investment is good, but decries a system in which longtime residents who most need it are excluded or displaced.
As New Yorkers begin to envision a post-Bloomberg era, My Brooklynchallenges residents new and old to an honest and urgent dialogue about the past, present, and future of a city in transition. In the end, the film offers hope by recognizing that many urban communities that have undergone substantial gentrification are still racially and economically diverse. This presents an exciting opportunity for old and new residents to unite around specific policies to preserve this diversity. But communities need tools in order bridge divides and build coalitions focused on the larger systemic issues. My Brooklyn aims to be one such tool.
My Brooklyn is directed and produced by Kelly Anderson and Allison Lirish Dean, and includes interviews with scores of Brooklyn residents, business owners, journalists, activists, artists, planners, historians, elected officials, and developers. The film has been in production since 2006, and was shot in locations all over the city from Downtown Brooklyn, to Williamsburg, Park Slope, and Bed-Stuy. In addition to important contemporary footage, My Brooklyn features a rich tapestry of archival material, including photographs by Jamel Shabazz from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.
The $20,000 we hope to raise through kickstarter.com will be used to hire an editor to finish the film. Kelly Anderson (the director) has been editing, and we have a strong rough cut, but we need to bring in an outside eye to make the arguments clear and have the film sing! Thanks for your help in getting us to the finish line.
For more information go to www.mybrooklynmovie.com or like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/My-Brooklyn/109814115757524