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Brick City


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

BRICK CITY is a provocative and eye-opening documentary series that fans out around the city of Newark, New Jersey to capture the daily drama of a community striving to become a better, safer, stronger place to live. Against great odds, Newark's citizens and its Mayor, Cory Booker, fight to raise the city out of a half century of violence, poverty and corruption. Booker, an outspoken and charismatic mayor who many compare to Barack Obama, works with Police Director Garry McCarthy, youth mentors, Blood and Crip gang members and other citizens on the front line to bring peace and prosperity to their once-proud city.

Bringing to life the true challenges and adventures of social transformation and urban renewal, BRICK CITY goes from City Hall to the street to create a vivid portrait of a city at a critical moment in history.

Review

All you fans of THE WIRE...it's time to watch BRICK CITY, a SPRAWLING, ABSORBING DOCUMENTARY about life and crime in Newark. It's long, and worth it. --Washington Post

NEWARK: The hardest, most ghetto city in America, possibly the world. If you think your city is ghetto, come here and prepare to be blown away. --Urbandictionary.com

LIVELY AND INTERESTING... a vibrant portrait of a city's attempt to better itself. --Chicago Tribune

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Mayor Cory Booker, Jayda, Creep
  • Directors: Mark Benjamin, Marc Levin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: December 9, 2009
  • Run Time: 260 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002OIMVOE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,754 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brick City" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
69%
4 star
23%
3 star
8%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 13 customer reviews
It has been called a real-life version of 'The Wire' ad nauseum, but that really is good description.
K. Gordon
It's very enjoyable and it gives a very realistic view of the struggles and issues that plague the city of Newark and how hard it is for people to live there.
hdavis
Also, love the other main characters, Jayda, Creep and Jiwe and how they've opened up their lives and are trying to promote change and positivity!
Linda Y

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Richard Hine on October 23, 2009
Format: DVD
BRICK CITY is a powerful and compelling documentary series that chronicles several months in the history of Newark, New Jersey as the city tries to reclaim itself, neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block, and brick by brick, under the leadership of Mayor Cory Booker. Booker is often compared to Barack Obama and the resistance he faces in Newark in 2008 could easily be compared to the national opposition faced by Obama in 2009. There are some people who just want him to fail, even if the result of failure is the status quo or worse.

The series played out on Sundance Channel over five nights in September 2009. And the dynamic Booker was just one of the stars. Directors Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin built the series around several distinct characters, including Police Director Garry McCarthy, Central High School principal Ras Baraka, a young couple Jayda (a Blood) and Creep (a Crip), and a community activist called Street Doctor.

As presented in BRICK CITY, Booker's attempts to rejuvenate his city revolve around crime reduction, improved education, urban renewal and economic development. He's an inspirational personality, but that doesn't mean the whole city is buying into helping him achieve his worthy goals:

* Political foes don't like the way he brings in "outsiders" to solve the city's problems. (While you're waiting for the BRICK CITY box set, be sure to watch the brilliant documentary Street Fight: A Film by Marshall Curry about Booker's 2002 mayoral run. It offers an excellent primer on Newark politics.)

* Inside the police department, McCarthy faces internal resistance and politicking that challenges his authority, even as the murder rate is plunging 40% or more.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Rosenberg on November 17, 2010
Format: DVD
This documentary series is sadly brief but gripping, moving. inspiring, and highly entertaining. One misses the added nuance and depth that could come from more episodes, but at least it doesn't presume to answer all the questions it raises.

Required viewing for anyone passionately concerned about the American urban environment at the start of the 21st century, and recommended especially to viewers of The Wire for a view of a real Northeastern inner city, its challenges and complexity, and one that shows some things really can get better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By hdavis on April 3, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary is about Newark New Jersey. It's very informative it gives a very detailed story about newark and the issues there. It also gives an indepth view of the mayor Corey Booker and the Newark police depart and as well as the residents of Newark. I enjoyed watching the stories about varies people on the show like jayda and Jiwe. It's very enjoyable and it gives a very realistic view of the struggles and issues that plague the city of Newark and how hard it is for people to live there.

This documentary is very well done and I enjoyed it a lot. It shows how wide spread the crime and gang murders are as well as all of the good people of newark who work in the city to try to make it better and improve the city.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James A. Powell VINE VOICE on February 13, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I heard or read about this short mini series documentary, and wanted to check it out.

Having read a lot of positive things about Mayor Cory Booker, leading up to his election, I wanted to get a Mayor Koch-like gauge on "how he's doing".

It takes real guts to attempt to make a positive difference in such a rough environment.

With that being said, the story trails the mayor and his team, along with some concerned citizens, and some citizens working hard on bettering themselves and their immediate environment.

The Mayor really puts himself "out there", and shows a genuine concern for making the city a better place. (playing night basketball, chasing an elusive lower murder count, etc.) It makes for compelling TV.
Seemingly taking some pages from NYC Mayor Guliani's playbook, Mayor Booker appears relentless in his efforts.

However, somehow the story falls short. Maybe because it's a "work in progress", maybe because, I just wanted more, even so, Brick City is as close to "good" as "reality-like" TV gets.

Don't get me wrong...this is a documentary, but has elements of "exposed conflict" that might not normally be seen otherwise.

If you're concerned about the future of our cities as integral hubs of diversity, you should check this out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Linda Y on February 7, 2011
Format: DVD
So glad to see the series Brick City return! It's so inspiring to see a Mayor actually living in the heart of his city and fighting for change despite the many adversities plaguing the city. Also, love the other main characters, Jayda, Creep and Jiwe and how they've opened up their lives and are trying to promote change and positivity! A really great show!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dashaun Jiwe Morris on September 25, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just want to give a big ups to the city of Newark and all those involved in this docu-series. I'm sure all know this is just a beginning to a long road ahead in reconstructing the city. I give thanks to Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin for reaching out to me/us, and wanting me involved in this film. More to come.

Dashaun Jiwe Morris
Author: War of the Bloods in My Veins

Peace & Safety
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