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.

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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.

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