CITIZEN JANE: BATTLE FOR THE CITY REVIEWED
“Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” is a great documentary that tells an untold story. It’s also a terrible bit of docu-entertainment by turning Construction Magnate Robert Moses into a Disney villain. The film succeeds when it uses actual text and lively narration to bring the battle between Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses to life. However, the film wants everyone to identify with the Bohemian writer activist Jane Jacobs. While a lot of Moses’ ideas seem bad in the long-view, the man had a purpose to his madness.
What Moses would’ve done is stop urban sprawl and made NYC an easier city for transportation and quelled its many traffic issues. But, it would’ve destroyed parkland and ruined Greenwich Village. Historically, it’s impressive that Jacobs was able to save all of this land. What I reject is the effort made to turn Jacobs into a heroine on par with Friedan. Too often these types get a modern revision while ignoring their methods.
No one is a Saint here, as they profited in their own ways. But, the long-view should always be taken to history. Won’t someone think of the long-view?
- 1.78:1 standard definition transfer
- Dolby Digital 5.1
RELEASE DATE: 9/12/17
The Plot Thus Far
Arguably no one did more to shape understanding of the modern American city than Jane Jacobs, the visionary activist and author of “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” who fought to preserve urban communities in the face of destructive development projects.