Rachel Grady and native Detroiter Heidi Ewing, the acclaimed directors of award-winning documentaries Jesus Camp
and The Boys of Baraka
, unveiled their latest documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Best Editing (Documentary) award.
presents a compelling portrait of the transformation of Detroit, the iconic Midwestern 'Motor City' whose social demographics have been dramatically impacted by declining economic fortunes. As the city with the highest foreclosure rate in the US in 2011, Detroit's Mayor and city officials face an unprecedented challenge in rationalising services and maintaining social cohesion across a city reeling from the most dramatic 'downsizing' ever seen by an American city.
Historically famed as the birthplace of the American middle class, Detroit has witnessed an exodus of more than a quarter of its population in the last decade. The fall comes despite the arrival of younger out-of-towners into abandoned neighbourhoods, enticed by low property prices.
A panel discussion will follow the screening on Saturday 20 October, featuring Geoffrey London, Victorian Government Architect, and John Flaus, film academic and cinephile. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Flavia Marcello from the Department of Architecture, Deakin University.
"As houses are demolished by the thousands, automobile-company wages plummet, institutions crumble and tourists gawk at the "charming decay", the film's vibrant, gutsy characters glow and erupt like flames from the ashes" - 2012 Sundance Film Festival