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Citizen Jane: Battle for the City offers a compelling overview of an influential activist's importance -- and underscores why the spirit of her work remains crucial today.
All Critics (54)
| Top Critics (16)
| Fresh (51)
| Rotten (3)
Tyrnauer uses a ton of archival footage to tell his story, and brings it in at a brisk 92 minutes.
She was also one tough cookie who appreciated a good fight. A bit more internal tussle would have both better honored her spirit and made for a better documentary.
Most good documentaries are powered by conflict, and you couldn't ask for a struggle more elemental or relevant to our time than the one chronicled in Citizen Jane: Battle for the City.
The movie is scored like a thriller, seemingly building to some terrifying conclusion. And, in a way, it does ...
[A] bracing, invigorating documentary.
In the context of today's stymied political trench wars, there is inspiration to be found in Jacobs' example of local activism, original thinking, and rational argument blossoming into useful change.
Building only anticlimactically, what it needed (ironically) was better planning. This film's message is vital; sadly the film itself isn't.
Ripe with Jacobs' more relevant than ever before insight and woven with her winningly abrasive personality, Tyrnauer's archive heavy construction is as rich and rewarding as the cities his subject once dreamed of.
... Everything we argue about today has direct callbacks to the concerns Jacobs raised more than 50 years ago.
Citizen Jane shows that it is possible to come out victorious-even if said victory is only a Pyrrhic one.
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City is an unlikely redefinition of the story of David versus Goliath.
Guess what? You can fight City Hall. Matt Tyrnauer's excellent documentary, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, shows how it's done, a call to arms that could not be more timely in this chaotic political moment.
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