HEIDI Ewing and Rachel Grady’s new documentary Detropia, which screens at Nenagh Arts Centre on February 7 opens with a frightening statistic: in 1930, Detroit, often labeled America’s Motor City, was the country’s most booming town because of its auto industry and manufacturing plants all across its land.
Today, it is one of the fastest declining cities with over 100,000 vacated homes and lots. Its economy is in shambles, its townspeople exhausted and underpaid, and overall appearance mirroring that of a desolate wasteland.
The filmmakers do not put us in a position to judge, blame, or accuse, but simply give us an unbiased, objective look at the decay and hopelessness Detroit has accentuated over a period of several years. Ewing and Grady’s approach to this delicate material is by letting the citizens tell their stories and share their opinions.
The only faint light that we are provided with is the idea that Detroit will soon become the area of idealistic young people who want to emerge in careers of technology and the fine arts to hopefully revitalize the American spirit in the currently hopeless town. Two local artists who wear gold-painted gas masks and walk listlessly along the landscape of Detroit (which is photographed bleakly but beautifully), hope to spread their creativity and vision throughout the land. Detropia a tapestry of images and thought provoking comment, sure to have a bearing on an Irish audience.
The film screens at 8pm. Tickets, at €7, are available at the door. For cchool bookings / screenings, contact Nenagh Arts Centre on 067-34400.