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Rated NR · 95 min. · 2013

Documentary


Neil Barsky's fond but not uncritical documentary arrives just after the death of his subject: Ed Koch, the flamboyant three-term mayor of New York City. While this film is likely to be of most interest to New Yorkers past and present, it's still a lively dip into a city that seems to belong to another world. An impressive array of journos and politicos tell the story of how Koch came to office in 1977, the year of the blackout, the fiscal crisis and the Son of Sam. It was an age of bombed-out slums, defaced subway cars, fearsome municipal unions and, as the soundtrack reminds us, of bands like Talking Heads. Koch's tenure grew increasingly troubled as he lost his ability to respond to chronic problems (such as police brutality) and new ones (AIDS). The film persuasively credits him with rebuilding New York's housing infrastructure, and he's also credited with beginning the clean-up of Times Square (but no true New Yorker will view the shots of today's Disneyfied tourist trap with anything but distaste and ambivalence). Koch, who died in February, is here, too—appealing, narcissistic, maddening and defiant.

Official Site: www.kochthemovie.com
Director: Neil Barsky
Producer: Jenny Carchman
Cast: Ed Koch

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