Film Review: Gentrification and Rezoning in Downtown Brooklyn
Kelly Anderson's documentary My Brooklyn focuses on the effects of rezoning on gentrification.
A Brooklyn resident for 25 years, Anderson collaborated with race historian Craig Wilder to reveal that gentrification is not just about people moving in and out of neighborhoods. She "decided not to dig into the well-worn territory" of the gentrification story, which highlights the displacement of black and Latino groups by white residents, but focused her narrative on the effort of corporations to "revitalize" Downtown Brooklyn and Fulton Mall by lifting building height restrictions, building luxury condos, offering property tax incentives to prospective buyers and undercutting small businesses like pizza parlors, barbershops and bookstores.
The documentary features failed efforts by the Downtown Brooklyn community and its representatives like Families United For Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) to present their case to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCED), and includes interviews with prominent locally bred musicians, shoppers and business owners who feel like they are fighting a losing battle.
The film is playing through Feb. 3 at reRun Theatre in DUMBO.