Nov 02

Nov. 9 & 15: San Francisco Doc Fest Screens Battle for Brooklyn

Battle for Brooklyn will screen in the San Francisco Documentary Festival on November 9th and 15th at 9:30pm at The Roxie.

More information and purchase tickets here.

Oct 21

Order Battle for Brooklyn DVD and Downloads.

Battle for Brooklyn is available as a special edition DVD or download on iTunes and on Amazon.

Battle for Brooklyn DVD

Universities and other educational institutions CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD. 

Oct 15

Oct 20: Battle for Brooklyn Makes TV Premiere on DirectTV

Update November 2: Now available On Demand on DirectTV

The Something to Talk About series kicks off this weekend with the premiere of Battle for Brooklyn, Saturday October 20 at 9pm on DirectTVAUDIENCE Network. Check out the schedule for additional airtimes.

Sep 28

9/28 8pm Screening is on for Outdoors at Dean Street Playground

8pm film screening of Battle for Brooklyn is on, free and outdoors at the Dean Street Playground. Dean Street between 6th Avenue and Carlton Avenue.


We’ll see you there. 

Sep 20

Atlantic Yards – It’s A Crime! Events on September 26, 27, 28, 29

Brooklyn Was Promised Much More Than An Arena
As Barclays Center Opens, Series of Events Highlights
Failures of Atlantic Yards and Demands for Change

What: It’s A Crime! Events to Coincide with Barclays Center Opening(details below)

Who: Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, Brown Community Development Corporation, BrooklynSpeaks, Fifth Avenue Committee, Brooklyn for Peace, Park Defense Fund Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Park Slope Neighbors, East Pacific Block Association, Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, South Portland Block Association, Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, Fort Greene for Peace, Brooklyn Clergy, Elected Officials, Rumur Inc, Tracy Collins and more.


Battle for Brooklyn screening at The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
53 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn [Directions]


Candlelight Vigil

Join Brooklyn clergy, elected officials and community organizations for a vigil remembering the people and families displaced by the Atlantic Yards project’s use of eminent domain, as well as recognizing those at risk of displacement today. We plan to gather close to the arena entrance at Pacific Bears Community Garden, corner of Flatbush and Pacific. Please follow this link for more information on the exact meeting location.

> FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 (arena opening day)

11AM: Press conference @ Barclays Center, in front of the Pacific Bears Community Garden, opposite the arena, at triangle tip where Flatbush and Pacific meet (details to follow).

12PM - 4PM: Popup actions all around the Barclays Center

5PM: Virtual rally—tweet #BarclaysCenter and @AYCrimeScene for housing and jobs now.

6PM: OWSGuitarmy’s Teach-in in Response to Jay-Z Comments

8PM: Free outdoor screening of Battle For Brooklyn (
@ Dean Playground Ball Field, just half a block from the arena
(Dean St. between 6th Ave. and Carlton Ave. MAP)
PLEASE NOTE: Should it rain for the Friday, September 28th, 8pm outdoor screening of Battle for Brooklyn the indoor venue is:
669 Atlantic Avenue, Corner of Atlantic and South Portland. [Map]

Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) March for Housing, Jobs and Justice
This march to Barclays Center concludes FUREE’s 10th Annual Convention @ 80 Willoughby St. 12PM-4PM. March starts at corner of Bridge St. and Willoughby St Join FUREE and local residents for a march through communities under attack from greedy developers and their friends in government.

6-8 PM: Photographer Tracy Collins’ exhibit,  ATLANTIC YARDS: DECONSTRUCTEDopening reception at the Soapbox Gallery (636 Dean Street, 1.5 blocks from the arena site, MAP). The exhibit traces the “on the ground” impacts of the development over the past 9 years through photography, video and other media.

More info at 

Sep 10

As Jay Z Opens the Barclays Center, The Critically-Acclaimed Counter-narrative to the Barclays Hype, “Battle for Brooklyn,” Screens for Free Half a Block Away

“‘Battle for Brooklyn’ is a riveting flick that shows how real estate developers use sports to seize other people’s property and enrich themselves with taxpayer subsidies; it is about how corporate interests enlist their allies in government to get what they want, even if that means lying to the public and screwing people who lack deep pockets and political connections.”
Michael O’Keeffe, New York Daily News

At the 2010 groundbreaking ceremony for the Barclays Center, just one portion of the massive Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, Mayor Bloomberg intoned, “No one’s going remember how long it took. They’re only gonna look and see that it was done.”

Battle for Brooklyn will ensure that, despite the Mayor’s wishful thinking, people won’t forget.

On Sept 28th at 8pm, the Barclays Center opens its doors for the first time for a Jay Z concert. Simultaneously Battle for Brooklyn—the riveting counter-narrative to the intense, multi-million dollar PR campaign developer Forest City Ratner is using to tell a story they and their political supporters want the public and media to believe about their billion dollar arena and all the broken promises they would like to hide—will screen just steps away from the arena.

The critically-acclaimed feature film Battle for Brooklynthe true story behind the eight-year fight over the Atlantic Yards project—will be screened for free at the ball field at Dean Street Playground just one half block from the arena.

“Our film closely explores the contentious community fight to stop the Atlantic Yards project, and the promises made by the developer and his supporters in New York State and City government. The community’s efforts to have a meaningful say in its future, in the face of top down development and crony capitalism, is a universal story being played out all across the US,” said director Mike Galinsky.

“The developer and the project’s proponents would like this history to disappear down the memory hole. Battle for Brooklyn, this screening and
others timed around the arena’s opening plug that hole.”

Battle for Brooklyn was short-listed for a 2011 Oscar for Best Documentary, won Best Documentary and Best Film at the 2011 Brooklyn Film Festival and was chosen as a 2012 American Library Association Notable Film.

Free, outdoor screening of Battle for Brooklyn

WHEN: Friday, September 28. 8pm

WHERE: Dean Street Playground Ball Field

(Dean Street between 6th Avenue and Carlton Avenue) [ Map ]

Subways: 2/3 Bergen Street stop, N/D/B Pacific Street Stop, C Lafayette Avenue Stop

Rain Location, Indoors: 669 Atlantic Avenue (Corner of S. Portland Ave. cattycorner to the arena) [
Map ]

Sep 05

Battle for Brooklyn, The True Story of How the Soon-to-Open Barclays Center Arena Came to Be, To Screen Across the Nation and in All Five Boroughs

“…Battle for Brooklyn is at its best showing how Atlantic Yards used the pretense of democracy to enrich the powerful, but how it also energized actual citizens to fight the good fight…”
— Chris Smith, New York magazine

“If you’re a New Yorker, it’s a mesmerizing story and for the most part Battle For Brooklyn, provides an engrossing history lesson on this controversial project.”
— Neil Rosen, NY1

“Battle for Brooklyn is…a movie for our times.”
— Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK  — At the 2010 groundbreaking ceremony for the Barclays Center, just one portion of the massive Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, Mayor Bloomberg intoned, “No one’s going remember how long it took.  They’re only gonna look and see that it was done.” 

Battle for Brooklyn will ensure that, despite the Mayor’s wishful thinking, people won’t forget.

Amidst the growing hoopla and hype of the Brooklyn Barclays Center September 28th opening, Jay-Z concerts and the Brooklyn Nets arrival on the scene, the other story of the eight year fight and controversy that swirled around the arena and the rest of the Atlantic Yards project, the critically-acclaimed, award-winning feature film, Battle for Brooklyn, will premiere at select theaters across the nation and screen in each of New York’s five boroughs (see schedule and link to watch trailer below).

“Our film closely explores the contentious community fight to stop the Atlantic Yards project, and the promises made by the developer and his supporters in New York State and City government. The community’s efforts to have a meaningful say in its future, in the face of top down development and crony capitalism, is a universal story being played out all across the US,” said director Mike Galinsky.  “The puffy articles and hoopla are a magician’s trick of misdirection to make the people look away from everything that’s wrong with how this project came to be.”

“The developer and the project’s proponents would like this history to disappear down the memory hole. Battle for Brooklyn and these screenings timed around the arena’s opening plug that hole.”

Battle for Brooklyn was short-listed for a 2011 Oscar for Best Documentary, won Best Documentary and Best Film at the 2011 Brooklyn Film Festival and was chosen as a 2012 American Library Association Notable Film.


Battle for Brooklyn is an intensely intimate look at the very public and passionate fight waged by owners and residents facing eminent domain condemnation of their property to make way for the controversial Atlantic Yards project, a massive plan to build 16 skyscrapers and a basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets in the heart of Brooklyn. Shot over seven years and compiled from almost 500 hours of footage, Battle for Brooklyn is an epic tale of how far people will go to fight for what they believe in. This character-driven, vérité film addresses the broader social, economic, and political ramifications of the project through interactions with individuals from all sides of the issue.  Featuring filmed speeches by Michael Bloomberg, Architect Frank Gehry, Jay Z, Developer Bruce Ratner, Steve Buscemi, activist Daniel Goldstein and others, Battle for Brooklyn is a riveting primer on the Atlantic Yards project, eminent domain and on grassroots activism that will inspire people to look deeper into the stories that affect their lives.

New York City Dates:

Wednesday, September 19  —  Brooklyn
Park Slope’s Old First Brooklyn Church - presented by the Fifth Ave Committee

Tuesday, Sept 25, 9pm  —  Brooklyn
Indiescreen, Brooklyn

Tuesday, Sept 25  — Staten Island
ETG cafe on Staten Island  

Wednesday, Sept 26  —  Brooklyn
Brooklyn Ethical Culture Society as part of Brooklyn Reconstructed

Thursday, Sept 27  —  Manhattan
Maysles Cinema in Harlem

Bronx and Queens screenings TBA

Nationwide Dates:

Chicago, September 24, 7pm
 at Facets

Fort Lauderdale, September 24, 7pm at Cinema Paradiso

Washington, D.C., September 25 at West End Cinema

Seattle, September 25 at the Northwest Film Forum

Bellingham, WA, October 1 at Pickford Film Center

Dallas, October 1 at Studio Movie Grille

Nationwide screenings of the film will include a recently filmed Q & A with the filmmakers and the film’s protagonist and a discussion after the film with the audience.

Watch the Battle for Brooklyn trailer.

Jul 23

Filmwax series: Brooklyn Reconstructed. More info here.

Filmwax series: Brooklyn Reconstructed. More info here.

Feb 08

June 15th: Battle for Brooklyn on Australian Public TV

Battle will air on Australia Broadcasting Channel, public TV, on July 15th:

ABC2 | Sunday, 15 July 2012 at 8.30pm

About the series

Sunday nights on ABC2 is the home of Sunday Best, an outstanding collection of game-changing and thought-provoking feature length documentaries. We’ve done the work to bring you the best must-see intelligent docos that are just too good to miss. Hosted by Kristy Best.

Battle For Brooklyn

Battle for Brooklyn follows the story of reluctant activist Daniel Goldstein as he struggles to save his home and community from being demolished to make way for the densest real estate development in US history.


Jan 27

Watch the Battle for Brooklyn Trailer

Jan 19

“In some ways “Battle For Brooklyn” resembles Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life” but even more so his “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” in its look at a relentless couple who fearlessly keeps fighting City Hall and its powerful allies at the expense of a social life and time to breathe, as the couple awakens a community and galvanizes a fight against a corporate and government structure that puts political roadblocks and legal linguistic contrivances in front of the resident taxpayers at every turn.” — — Omar Moore, SF Indie Movie Examiner

Filmmaker Michael Galinsky and activist Daniel Goldstein talk private property, holding out, and standing ovations.

Killer Movie Reviews via PRXby Andrea Chase
Filmmaker Michael Galinsky used the synchronicity that brought him together with Daniel Goldstein when making BATTLE FOR BROOKLYN, the story of how a private developer invoked Eminent Domain to seize private property, including Goldstein’s. The resulting film has been shortlisted for an Oscar, and at the screening I attended in San Francisco, brought an audience to its feet. When I spoke with them, the conversation covered what it was like for Goldstein to be trapped in an elevator after everyone else had moved out, how a developer can circumvent local authorities, and how the Occupy Movement has helped get the film booked around the country.

  » Listen to the Interview

Jan 16

'Battle for Brooklyn' Debuts At Artisphere

A documentary exploring eminent domain abuse in Brooklyn, N.Y., debuts at Artisphere’s Dome Theater. By Brooks Hays

Some critics may claim “Battle for Brooklyn” is a slanted or biased film, but those who do will have ignored a beautiful piece of cinema and a powerful piece of journalism…

Read More

Jan 12

'Battle for Brooklyn': It's not just a New York story

TBD Washington, DC. By Andrew Beaujon.
(Screens in DC at
Artisphere, Jan 13-15)

Battle for Brooklyn
 is a documentary film about the Atlantic Yards project, which attempted to parachute a new neighborhood, including a basketball arena, into downtown Brooklyn. The only problem? There was already a neighborhood there.

So why should we care about it here? You can’t swing a Twitter client in Washington without hitting some nimrod who’ll tell you New York’s got better food, better coffee, and a better arts scene. Now we have to hear about how much more cinematic their civic problems are than ours?

But: the city of Alexandria has floated the idea of using eminent domain to get its waterfront-redevelopment plan going. Maryland considered using eminent domain to keep the Preakness in Baltimore. And the District recently argued that it could strong-arm tenants out of the Skyland shopping mall whether or not the plan to replace them was viable.

Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley’s film begins with a press conference in 2003 where the famous architect Frank Gehry enthuses about the possibility to “build a whole neighborhood practically from scratch,” demonstrating a hubristic tenor that carries through the movie, as the developer Forest City Ratner steamrolls community opposition groups, city government, the courts, and not least the New York press.

Hawley says this film, which deals with eminent domain abuse, is really a critique of media. Every piece about the project, she says, “followed the same format: You quote the developer, and it was five paragraphs about what the developer was going to do, and then they’d interview Dan for one line.”

"Dan" is Daniel Goldstein, a graphic designer who quickly becomes the heart of the film. His apartment on Pacific Street was in Forest City Ratner’s cross-hairs.

"I’m not much of a patriot, but it is un-American," Goldstein says at the beginning of the film. "Or maybe it is American. You know what? It is American. What [Ratner is] doing seems to be the American way."

"I knew when he said that that this guy was not going anywhere," Galinsky says. He and Hawley live in Clinton Hill, close to the proposed project, and had seen a flier opposing it. Patti Hagan answered the phone number on the flier and suggested Goldstein as an interview subject.

 As the film covers the next seven years, Goldstein’s engagement crumbles, his hair turns gray, and he becomes the only tenant in his building. He meets, marries, and has a daughter with another protester, Shabnam Merchant. And he becomes very good at talking to the media.

"You see him throughout the film discovering the talents he didn’t know he had," says Hawley.

"He obsessed about" the project, Galinsky says of Goldstein. "For him it’s an intellectual puzzle and a conundrum."

Read More