Former Mayor Ed Koch is the quintessential New Yorker. Ferocious, charismatic, and hilariously blunt, Koch, who died in February at the age of 88, ruled New York from 1978 to 1989 a down-and-dirty decade of grit, graffiti, near-bankruptcy and rampant crime. First-time filmmaker (and former Wall Street Journal reporter) Neil Barsky has crafted an intimate and revealing portrait of this intensely private man, his legacy as a political titan and the town he helped transform. The tumult of his three terms included a fiercely competitive 1977 election; an infamous 1980 transit strike; the burgeoning AIDS epidemic; landmark housing renewal initiatives; and an irreparable municipal corruption scandal. Through candid interviews and rare archival footage, Koch thrillingly chronicles the personal and political toll of running the world s most wondrous city in a time of upheaval and reinvention.
HD transfer, enhanced for widescreen viewing
Witnesses NYC: A new film by director Neil Barsky, featuring more extraordinary 1980s archival footage plus interviews with New Yorkers a graffiti artist, a Wall Street executive, a crack dealer, a restaurateur, a peepshow employee, an activist/urban gardener and others who lived though the Koch years (29 min)
Director interview by filmmaker Ondi Timoner (Dig), for BYOD: Bring Your Own Doc (35 min)
Ed Koch Q&A at the New York Jewish Film Festival, his final public appearance (17 min)
5.1 and stereo soundtracks