Citizen Jane: Battle for the City - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City Reviews

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½ November 9, 2018
'Citizen Jane: Battle for the City' was an interesting look deep into how New York City was formed. It's fascinating or wonky depending on your point of view. One man's treasure is a woman's trash. In this case hubby enjoyed it and was captivated, while wife was bored and uninterested. Wife: 4.7 and Husband 8.6/ Final Score: 6.7
½ December 25, 2017
A bio-pic chronicling Jacob's fight against Robert Moses, NYC Master Builder, to save Greenwich Village from being turned into a highway. Sadly the film sticks very narrowly to its direct subject. As an Author and land use and design advocate, Jacobs ideas still resonate today. The makers would do well to incorporate some of the humanizing aspects of Jacobs' writings to their film. Regardless of its death grasp on the greecian drama portrayed in this documentary, and lack of a satisfactorily overhead view of the importance of Jacobs' work, the film compellingly depicts early events that influenced Jacobs and serves as a case study for what a successful, neighborhood based grassroots campaign looks like.
September 22, 2017
Yes, a totally typical liberal film. No reason to see yet another.
½ August 31, 2017
A fascinating look into the life of Jane Jacobs a New York woman who was brave & committed enough to take on the Building Moguls & Planners of NYC.

Her argument was simple but effective cities should be made for people not productivity. She fought so hard in clearly a man's era.

She halted the production of developments that if went ahead would destroy the DNA of NYC. Truly a testament that one can make a difference, a stirring & sensational documentary.
June 20, 2017
This material deserves a more exciting treatment than the quaint, dry, regimented treatment it gets here. This makes all its points after about 45 minutes, then repeats itself with dry line-readings and not much visual flare despite all the archival footage.
½ May 11, 2017
Bits and bobs. Yet, see it at your local indie theatre. The audience reactions through the film extends it beyond the proverbial fourth wall.
May 8, 2017
As someone with a degree in urban & regional planning, I was very interested in seeing this. We learned about Jane Jacobs, Robert Moses and Le Corbusier in school, so none of this was totally new.

Unfortunately, this wasn't a terribly compelling film, even with my interest in the subject. Lots of archival footage, voiceovers, talking heads...nothing exciting or different, just informative. Even the three major fights that formed the core of the film felt kind of distant...they just weren't really brought to life.

The film also felt like it wandered a bit for a while, even though it was all basically tied to a core thesis - big government planning = bad, although ostensibly there had to be enough planning in the first place to build the neighborhoods she cherished.

While I lean towards Jacobs' community-centric model, I don't know that either Jacobs or Moses was totally right or wrong, as not many places are like NYC, but there's ostensibly more community input now, although rather than government-led, most projects in general are developer-led, and what they say usually goes, for better or for worse.
½ February 4, 2017
I'm not a defender or fan of Robert Moses, but I think they could have fleshed out the origins of the divergent trains of thought that she and he came to embody. Instead, he just appeared here and there in brief clips to utter some absurdity or to offer a totalitarian scowl. Not that that wasn't an accurate portrayal of his real personality.... but if we are celebrating this incredible woman's gift of recognizing complexity and contradiction and her respect for diversity... I feel confident that the audience could have handled slightly more challenging architectural theory. Still, its about 60/40 hagiography to urban history, so its absolutely worth checking out.
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