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Reviews for 'Citizen Jane: Battle for the City'

Two publications likely to find an audience with people sympathetic to the cause of Jane Jacobs reviewed the latest film about her political battles with Robert Moses for the soul of New York.
April 24, 2017, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Phil Stanziola

Glenn Kenny provides a brief review of "Citizen Jane: Battle for the City," directed by Matt Tyrnauer. According to Kenny, the film " chronicles the author and activist Jane Jacobs’s opposition to several ambitious, potentially ruinous Robert Moses projects…"

Kenny's lukewarm review decides the film is "only intermittently stimulating," but succeeds most when showing archival footage of the two main subjects.

Bob Mondello, however, writing for NPR's All Things Considered, found more to appreciate in the film, describing the film's depiction of the 20th century worlds of urban renewal and citizen activism as a call to image "city planning as a contact sport." This review's decision about the film is unequivocally more positive: "Jacobs argued that what looks to officialdom like disorder is actually what makes a crowded human landscape function — it's just a more complex order. This compelling documentary lets you see the beauty she found in that complexity."

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Published on Friday, April 21, 2017 in NPR
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