"Battle for Brooklyn" is…a movie for our times.
— Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post Gazette
"The movie…has heart, soul and chutzpah…Feisty but fairly reported…The time line that drives ‘Battle for Brooklyn’ makes it as urgent as any Hollywood thriller."
— Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"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
NY Times Critics’ Pick
— Neil Genzlinger, New York Times
“The movie proves a deft look at a reluctant crusader and how financial sway and political override can so effectively trump the power of the average citizen.”
— Gary Goldstein, The Los Angeles Times
"Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley, who co-directed this incisive documentary, have a thing for cranks, die-hards and malcontents. (Their previous movies include Horns and Halos, which charted the wobbly final days of failed Dubya biographer James Hatfield.) So the filmmakers emphasize Daniel Goldstein, a graphic designer who adamantly refused to sell his condo to Forest City Ratner.
… The Empire State’s eminent domain laws are unusually loose, but most of the rest of this story is pertinent far beyond New York. Change a few names and add the next credit bubble, and a Brooklyn-style Battle could be headed to a neighborhood near you.”
— Mark Jenkins, NPR
"…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
"…Compressing a seven-year civic struggle over a massive redevelopment project in the center of Brooklyn, N.Y., into 93 minutes, Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley’s film spins a compelling tale about the value of individual and collective resistance, even as it makes clear where power in our society really resides. Along the way, "Battle for Brooklyn" tells the story of a love affair and a new family, and reminds us that even billionaires are not omnipotent.
No doubt “Battle for Brooklyn” will be of most interest to New Yorkers, and particularly to people who live or work in the city’s most populous borough. But the film’s basic situation — local residents and community activists vs. the development schemes of major politicians and big business — is an archetypal element of urban life, one that can be found in almost any city, large or small, from Maine to California. What distinguished kazillionaire developer Bruce Ratner’s plan to remake the center of “America’s fourth-largest city” (to borrow the boosterish phrase of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz) was primarily its size and audacity, along with the fact that the ensuing battle turned very ugly and inevitably attracted the attention of the national media, much of which is headquartered a few miles away across the East River.”
— Andrew O’Hehir, Salon
"Nothing depicts the borough’s backbone with more personality and urgency than ‘Battle for Brooklyn,’ the [Brookyn Film Festival’s] opening-night selection…Seven years of footage is edited into a crisp, dramatic and narrator-free 93 minutes, focusing on the remarkable story of neighborhood activist Daniel Goldstein, the last resident in a Pacific Street building marked for demolition through eminent domain."
— Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal
“‘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
“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.”
(3 out of 4 Apples)
— Neil Rosen, NY1
"…Battle for Brooklyn is a gripping, cinematic story with an epic character arc that condenses seven years into 93 minutes. The film deftly captures infuriating politics and tender personal moments as Goldstein ends one relationship, begins another, gets married and has a child, all while fighting to keep his home.”
— Laura Almo, Documentary.org
"…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
"A thoroughly engaging look at the infuriating erosion of individual rights in the interest of corporate concerns and political maneuvering."
— Basil Tsiokos, indieWire
"And for all the catcalling and flaring tempers, the claims and counterclaims of flyers, conferences, church meetings, and press releases, the film captures a valiant effort to take back "the American way" and make it what it should be. Whatever side you’re on, whatever the outcome when the project is finally complete, it’s inspiring to see Americans put a lie to the suggestion that they are apathetic, self-obsessed, greedy, fat, and stupid. Watching Battle for Brooklyn , my only wish was that I could say the same thing about the politicians who run the place.”
— Anne Thompson, indieWire’s “Thompson on Hollywood”
"A powerful movie about an important and little-reflected-upon topic, "Battle For Brooklyn" is a telling snapshot of political maneuvering, and the tossed-around wrecking-ball weight of corporate might as it relates to individual rights. Americans would be wise to heed movies like this one, -when politicians talk about corporations being people or citizens, they’re certainly not referring to equal-footing status."
— Brent Simon (President of the Los Angele Film Critics Association), Shockya.com
"Most viewers should find the documentary Battle For Brooklyn gripping and provocative…"
— Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
"Superb storytelling and great characters…make this a must-see."
— Susan G. Cole, Now Toronto
"Having observed much of the story in real time, I found Battle most valuable in the camera’s witness to the palpable insincerity and cold-blooded indifference of the developer-government alliance. Though Atlantic Yards may not directly evoke the Robert Moses era, when massive numbers of people in New York City were displaced by large public projects, the film shows that the powers today are less blatant but still relentless."
— Norman Oder, Dissent
"Documentary Battle for Brooklyn exposes the corruption lurking behind the push to oust residents for the Atlantic Yards project in an abuse of eminent domain."
— Leslie Stonebraker, New York Press
"In Battle for Brooklyn, directors Michael Galinksy and Suki Hawley provide a 21st century addendum to the troubling modern history of eminent domain use. Their film shows, up close and dirty, just how large a role developers play in defining the forms and functions of the urban landscape."
— Brett Story, Spacing Toronto
(3 of 4 Stars) ”…Hawley and Galinsky, a longtime wife-and-husband documentary team, bring real suspense to the story, culled from many hundreds of hours of footage. Both opposing sides talk about “the soul of Brooklyn”; what’s also clear, from this movie, is a powerful sense of finding home.”
— Seattle Times
"Battle for Brooklyn presents a complex struggle between those at the top, those in the middle, and those at the bottom. Those at the top (Jay-Z, developers, the mayor) want to transform a section of Brooklyn into a profit-making machine. Those in the middle (mostly white) do not want to be displaced by this development. And those at the bottom (mostly black) have been bought by those at the top to politically promote the displacement of those in the middle. The documentary is fair and engaging from beginning to end."
— Seattle’s The Stranger
"The dedication that Rumur Inc. has shown to documentary filmmaking and to the borough of Brooklyn has been an inspiration to us for more than a decade, and we believe that their latest work is essential viewing for fans of documentary film and for those who care about the future of their communities."
— Dan Nuxoll, Rooftop Films”
"The documentary is more valuable for its cold-eyed look at how real estate interests work the levers of power in state and city government, dangling the vague promise of job creation in exchange for sweetheart deals that drain the public coffers.”
J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
Filmmaker Mike Galinsky and protagonist Daniel Goldstein Interview
— ABC’s Diana Williams’ “Up Close”
Filmmakers Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley Interviewed
— NBC Nightly News with Chuck Scarborough
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s CounterSpin radio program sat down for a discussion about the media’s role in the Atlantic Yards fight with the Battle for Brooklyn filmmakers Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley
Listen below or here. (Interview starts at 12:48)