Matthew Lickona 2:57 p.m., May 17
From Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, the team that brought you Jesus Camp, comes another cable-ready documentary content to skim the surface. Detroit is the fastest shrinking city in the United States; the population has reached its lowest point in 100 years. We follow several locals - a video blogger, UAW union president, retired school teacher/lounge owner - as well as Mayor David Bing. In a fit of desperation, hizzonor hatches a plan to relocate thousands of citizens from deserted neighborhoods to the more densely populated parts of town and turn the rest of the city into a giant urban farmhouse. As with Jesus Camp, there’s a suffocating sense of ironic sensationalism at work. The film’s level of social commentary never rises far above its use of contrary (and well-worn) ephemeral film footage or ironic cutaways to “We Built This City” or “GM: Buy American” placards. Needless to say, Michael Moore heartily endorses this film. It left me with just one searing question: “And the reason this got a theatrical release is?” 2012.
— Scott Marks