. . . as Anderson documents, the transition has been marked by pain, loss, and alienation for the small business owners who had kept the Fulton Mall thriving for all those years. In some of the film’s most powerful sequences, Anderson interviews the people being displaced by the rent increases and demolitions resulting from the "improvements," and their stories are wrenching. The barber who took such pride in giving Isaac Hayes a shape-up; the wig store owner who wonders how she will pay her children’s college tuition; the man who ran the diner for 26 years and watches helplessly as his business is taken out from under him. It’s hard not to feel that H&M and the Gap are a poor replacement for these locally owned enterprises. The character and cohesion they bring to the street will surely vanish with them.
Anderson doesn’t pretend to present a balanced picture here. The villains of her story are the developers and city officials who smilingly insist that "change is good," and the residents at a nearby farmer’s market who dismiss, with oblivious racism, the place where generations of black Brooklynites came of age and created a culture that the rest of America is still busily consuming. She creates an ugly portrait of a city where disregard for the needs of the less privileged is as stark as it ever was in the much-maligned days of Robert Moses.
This is not an organic sea change, argues one scholar interviewed for the film, but rather a deliberate strategy on the part of city government. "It’s actually about tearing down neighborhoods and building different neighborhoods," he says. And this: "This is not the only way a city gets governed. This is not the only way that development happens."
In the past 10 years, Brooklyn has become a kind of Rorschach test onto which urban observers can project their ideas about the future of cities. Is gentrification a scourge or a boon? Are white, yuppie newcomers a positive part of the borough’s revitalization or the harbingers of its fatal homogenization? My Brooklyn is a powerful, deeply researched telling of the borough's story from one woman’s point of view, a lament for the human price paid by many to ensure great profit for a few.Movie Trailer:
Will this happen in Reston and Tysons?