No matter where you stand on the gentrification/improvement of Downtown Brooklyn battle, Elizabeth Weitzman’s 3 paragraph review in today’s New York Daily News of “My Brooklyn”, Kelly Anderson’s Fulton Mall documentary feels a little light.
Judge for yourself:
How ironic that the primary flaw in “My Brooklyn” is the insistent presence of director Kelly Anderson. Anderson is a white, middle-class Brooklynite who has noticed the shifting socio-economic makeup of her brownstone neighborhoods, and wonders what price the borough is paying for gentrification.
It’s an excellent question, and when Anderson allows the experts — or simply those most deeply impacted by the changes — to speak, the film has a powerful urgency. Most interesting is the focus on the Fulton Mall, in which businesses primarily owned and patronized by African-Americans are increasingly being displaced by corporate interests.
But every time we start to learn something about the city’s political process or cultural divisions, Anderson relates it back to her own personal experience. At first, it’s simply an irritating distraction. As she continues to insert herself into this urban history, however, it begins to feel like an uncomfortable reflection of the kind of encroachment the film itself decries.