Friday June 3
Brooklyn Heights Cinema 1
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As a photographer living less than a block from the site of the under-construction Barclays Center Arena, I have been documenting the neighborhood from the time the project was announced at the end of 2003.
From the BATTLE FOR BROOKLYN web site:
BATTLE FOR BROOKLYN is an intimate look at the very public and passionate fight waged by residents and business owners of Brooklyn’s historic Prospect Heights neighborhood facing condemnation of their property to make way for the polarizing Atlantic Yards project, a massive plan to build 16 skyscrapers and a basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets. The film focuses on graphic designer Daniel Goldstein whose apartment sits at what would be center court of the new arena. A reluctant activist, Daniel is dragged into the fight because he can’t accept that the government should use the power of Eminent Domain to take his new apartment and hand it off to a private developer, Forest City Ratner. The effort to stop the project pits him and his neighbors against Ratner and an entourage of lawyers and public relations emissaries, the g0vernment, as well as other residents who want the construction jobs, the basketball team, and the additional housing that the project might produce.
Daniel and a host of Brooklynites form the group “Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn” to pursue alternate plans to Ratner’s proposal and to expose misconceptions about the project. One by one, residents living the footprint begin to sell their homes to the developer or move away, leaving Daniel as the last man standing in the footprint of the proposed sports arena. Along the way, he loses a fiancé, falls in love again, gets married and starts a family. The film is a thoroughly engaging look at the infuriating erosion of individual rights in the interest of corporate concerns and political maneuvering. Shot over the course of eight years and compiled from almost 500 hours of footage, BATTLE FOR BROOKLYN is an epic and universal tale of one man under pressure, and how far he will go to fight for his home and what he believes in.