Requiem for Detroit - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Requiem for Detroit Reviews

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February 24, 2013
The Motor City running on empty.
April 9, 2012
You don't often see the USA depicted in the movies like this. The state of Detroit today is shocking and should be an embarrassment for the states. It's hard to believe how it has come from what it was to what it is. This film seems to suggest the reasons are racial as well as economic, both past and present embarrassments for the states too.
July 15, 2011
Whether one finds Requiem's tone and representation questionable or not, it provides an accessible mosaic of local expositions voicing their experience in one of the American Dreams epicentres, and their endearment of it's abandonment. Overarching in scope and highly charged in Julien Temple's almost MTV style, Requiem serves as cautionary tale of American capitalistic modernism and the irony some forms of post modernism can take. It does what a documentary should in engaging the viewer to find out more. Is Detroit, motor city and hockey town, really abandoned to this degree?
½ January 16, 2011
Requiem for Detroit is a good idea, for one thing I didn't really know anything about Detroit or its history. Its decaying monolithic buildings are both beautiful ruins to observe and a sad reminder of how a booming industry can one day become worthless. Unfortunately, the world changes, the business market changes and sometimes thriving business simply stops thriving.

In some way I do feel sorry for the people in this film, the people who grew up surrounded by the successes of the business that made Detroit the once great center of the American car industry. The people that lived off this success but also watched it crumble. As I said before, however, things change and sadly for Detroit they changed big time. Once I stop feeling sorry for them, they just kind of pissed me off.

What I hate is the films overall tone that Modernism is somehow evil and Detroit is the perfect example of the evils of Capitalism. Henry Ford created an industry that provided jobs for thousands of people, payed them decent wages, gave them places to live. Not being able to predict that this city would one day not be the center of the car industry is no-ones fault.

Although not entirely political or critical in its observations, the interviews and points of view felt incredibly one sided and biased towards an agenda. The films also literally lacked a single moment of subtlety, to the point of even throwing in a load of absurd (almost comedy) sound effects, '..and then the industry failed!', (sound effect of car hitting a brick wall) '...this city has one of the highest crime rates...' (really naff sound effect of a woman screaming). COME ON! I also got tired of the film projected on the ruined buildings, a nice idea for a few shots but not re-used throughout an hour plus film.

It felt like a documentary on steroids with no quiet subtle observation, no moments of introspection, no room to breath. A personal preference but this film could have been great if it had more of all of those things and less biased opinions. Of course the person who was born and raised in Detroit is going to be pissed off about the state that it's now in, that a given and it's also not terrible interesting.

If you think that capitalism is the root of all evil, you'll probably love this film loads. If you don't, you probably won't. However, it's not even as simple as that. If you can get past the 'isn't Capitalism rubbish' opinions, you'll find a mildly interesting, if poorly structured detailing of the city's history. If you can't, you'll probably hate it as much as I did.

Imagine a black guy who's lived in Detroit all his life, he's told by his family how black and white people didn't really get on and when he's young he experiences some of this racial tension. This guy then takes a load of dolls, messes them up a bit, hangs them from the same trees and shoves a few shopping carts over the tree branches and calls it Art. Unfortunately this film is about as subtle as this guys mental Art.
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