American Library Association’s WINNER 2012 Notable Videos for Adults

Education Edition DVD Screener

$245 (includes tax and shipping) Watch the Trailer
93 Minutes. Not Rated. Blu-Ray or DVD.

Licensed for non-commercial use in classrooms, library and small group community screenings.  




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The filmmakers are available to speak at screenings depending on schedule.  
Contact us if you’re interested in campus wide events.

What kind of classes is the film good for?
The film deals with a wide variety of topics including; film, media, politics, urban studies, public policy, sociology, and law.  It is also a compelling narrative that engages audiences and is an award-winning example of documentary filmmaking.  We have heard from many teachers that their classes were energized by the film and the discussion.


CRITICAL ACCLAIM:

“I’ve used Battle for Brooklyn in my graduate level course in public affairs and public policy. It sheds light on issues related to power, community building, community organizing, and legal tools related to planning, as well as the roles, responsibilities, and relations between sectors (public, private, nonprofit) and communities – better than any academic reading assignment. My students were riveted, and discussions were active.”
– Fern Tiger, Professor of Practice Arizona State University and President and Creative Director Fern Tiger Associates

"Perhaps the most insightful film about urban planning and eminent domain to yet emerge.”
— Brandon Harris, Filmmaker Magazine

“Don’t miss Battle For Brooklyn, a terrific film version of the sorry tale of Atlantic Yards, a cautionary tale for all cities.”
— Roberta Gratz, author The Battle For Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. Mayor Bloomberg 2003 Appointee NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

“This film is a magnificent achievement.  RUMUR has been equally magnificent in taking it to audiences all across America.  We are getting a lesson in democracy derailed.  Our future as nation of the people, by the  people and for the people depends on this.  Otherwise we perish from the earth, as President Lincoln warned in his amazing Gettysburg Address.”
- Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Public Health NYSPI, Columbia University

“Battle for Brooklyn transcends typical left-right politics, unites all who believe in self-respect and democracy, and invites Americans to join together in the fight against the elite’s abuse of eminent domain. In the end, Battle for Brooklyn compels audiences to ask a question that unifies rather than divides us: Do you want to live in a country where Big Money controls everything?”
– Bruce E. Levine, a practicing clinical psychologist, writes and speaks about society, culture, politics and psychology. His latest book is Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite (Chelsea Green, 2011).


Political Science / Politics / Government

“I’ve used Battle for Brooklyn in my graduate level course in public affairs and public policy. It sheds light on issues related to power, community building, community organizing, and legal tools related to planning, as well as the roles, responsibilities, and relations between sectors (public, private, nonprofit) and communities – better than any academic reading assignment. My students were riveted, and discussions were active.”
- Fern Tiger, Professor of Practice Arizona State University and President and Creative Director Fern Tiger Associates

Suggested topics of discussion:

- Looking at the way the planning process involved (and did not involve) the community, can you think of ways in which policy makers might have taken a different approach?  What might you have done differently, and what kinds of processes do you think can be put in place to deal with these issues.

- What are some of the different constitunencies that played a role in this process?  What means did they have to give meaningful input?  Who should have a “seat at the table” in these discussions? As planners and policy makers how to we create room at the table without inviting chaos.

-  Given that a lot of promises and projections were made in order to win approval for the project, what kind of policy measures can be taken to make sure that the promises come true and the projections make sense.  In big projects these numbers are often wildly off base.  As we can see with this project the numbers of jobs and revenues fall FAR short.  The expected benefits are not coming to frution, and the environmental impact is enorumous and glossed over.  How as planners can we move forward with big projects and still pay attention to fiscal, and community realities.


Film / Journalism / Media Studies

"Over the years, the Atlantic Yards project itself has received much media coverage, but Galinsky explains that the news coverage was complicated and limited at best. "Everything is led by news cycles and the news cycles were led by the developer, so the developer is going to control the narrative," he points out. "With all the millions of dollars that they spent on PR over the years, they definitely controlled the narrative as far as people in New York understanding what was going on. This film is our attempt to take back the narrative and say, ‘Well actually, this is from a different perspective of what happened.’" 
- Laura Almo - Documentary Magazine

When we make films we tend to focus on stories that are playing out in the media.  We shoot with those people whose lives are affected by both the situation AND the media and try to enlarge the scope of the story.  When we see characters behind the scrim of the media lens (and in it) we are able to gain an understanding of how media reaches us and how these messages affect us.  When we see this play out over 8 years it brings into focus many of the important issues surrounding media in this country.

With the Altantic Yards project it is clear to see that those people with power had a great deal of leverage over how the story played out in the media.  Some possible discussion questions related to these issues include:

- As a journalist what role should one play in disseminating information.  As we see in the film the story seemed to be led by government and the developer.  Media attention was based around government hearings and developer press releases.  What role can the media play by proactively covering stories so that they deal with the concerns and issues facing diverse communities

- In the film the developers seemingly invests in creating community groups in an attempt to cover their bases from a media perspective.  What role should the media play in “looking behind the curtain” to raise questions about relationships like this?

- Discuss the ways in which the flow of information can affect the outcome of unfolding events.

- Discuss the role of the media in under-served communities

- How do race and class play out in terms of the media in this situation.


Law

Viewing and discussing Battle for Brooklyn in the classroom will give your students the opportunity to:

- See, in real time, how the precedent set by the Kelo vs. New London Supreme Court Case is affecting other eminent domain cases.

- Gain a better understanding of the real world effects of eminent domain use on an individual, community, and city-wide level.


Architecture/Urban Studies

“…Perhaps the most insightful film about urban planning and eminent domain to yet emerge, it is also a muckraking portrait of system corruption, of the ways that money causes undue influence within our political system and how the wealthy can muscle their preferred message through the media in increasingly draconian and anti-democratic ways.”
|— Brandon Harris, Filmmaker Magazine

“Don’t miss Battle For Brooklyn, a terrific film version of the sorry tale of Atlantic Yards, a cautionary tale for all cities.”
— Roberta Gratz, author The Battle For Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. Mayor Bloomberg 2003 Appointee NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

"Battle for Brooklyn vividly demonstrates the impact of public policy and the how the decisions that we make as professionals impact the lives of people. For those of us  engaged in educating the next generation of designers, planners and decision makers the film "Battle for Brooklyn" is an important tool to stimulate discussion and debate concerning the impact that we have on people’s lives and the principles that should guide how we practice our respective professions."
- Ron Shiffman, Professor for Planning, Pratt University

Viewing and discussing Battle for Brooklyn in the classroom will give your students the opportunity to:

- Better understand the various players (developers, community members, local politicians, etc.) whose influences shapes urban landscapes.

- View the real-time interactions of these players, which result in the densest real estate development in Brooklyn’s history. 

- Discuss different approaches to urban development with regards to the involvement of the local community

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