Independent Lens: Detropia
Monday, May 27 at 10:00 p.m.
Detroit: the grand American city, built on industry, fair play and hard work.
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 ten years, this iconic Midwestern city has lost 25 percent of its population and 50 percent of its manufacturing jobs. Local 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 even encouraging Detroiters in the most marginal neighborhoods to move.
Detroiters who have stuck with the city are at the breaking point. Despite these desperate conditions, there is still an allure to Detroit artists; curious outsiders flock to the city in search of inspiration and opportunity.
The people of Detroit are not ready to give up on this place, where the spirit of loyalty, community and grit is not so easy to break. They are ready to create a radically new Detroit in a post-industrial America.