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Street Fight: A Film by Marshall Curry (2005)

Al Sharpton , Jesse Jackson , Marshall Curry  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Cory Booker, Sharpe James, Pablo Fonseca
  • Directors: Marshall Curry
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002SAMMLU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,846 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

a film by Marshall Curry, theatrical date is 2005

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Most politically charged films focus on corruption at the higher levels of state, but STREET FIGHT gives us a curb-side view of something much smaller ...and much more important.

The 2002 Newark, New Jersey Mayoral race is something most voters in the U.S. could care less about. Why should someone in, say, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania pay attention to Newark's voting issues? Or someone in Fort Worth, Texas? Or San Francisco, California? Realistically, none of them would. But Newark is New Jersey's most populated city, and those in San Francisco and beyond might want to take a peak at what's happening to our democracy on a pseudo-microcosmic level.

The film's primary focus is on Cory Booker, a Newark city councilman with his eye on the mayor's office. He's a Stanford and Yale graduate who lives in a slum within Newark. He's an idealist who's grown tired of his city's poor schools, poorer neighborhoods, and rising jobless rate. To get into the mayor's office, though, he'll have to unseat four-time incumbent Sharpe James, a man who's firmly entrenched within Newark's politics.

We watch as writer/director/photographer Marshall Curry seeks to interview both sides of the race, first by checking in on Cory Booker's campaign, then by trying (in vain) to meet up with Sharpe James and his people. But once James' campaign personnel learn that Curry interviewed Booker already, he is immediately shunned and pushed aside (often in a very rough manner). Curry's camera is pushed around time and again, his microphone broken, and he's denied access to Sharpe James entirely. Even when Curry catches up with James at a public event, he's manhandled by Sharpe James' `brute squad.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Candidate Returns October 25, 2006
Q: Why should anyone west of the Delaware River care about the Newark, NJ mayoral race of 2002? A: For me, this was an edge-of-the-seat suspenser that wouldn't let go long enough to let me take a phone call. If you don't know how it ends, see it for the cliffhanging story it tells. For anyone else, this compact little documentary should be seen for its relentless journalistic energy. As American politics becomes more and more dominated by fear tactics, the corporate-owned news organizations have abdicated their duties as the Fourth Estate of our republic, leaving independents like Marshall Curry to take up the mantle. STREET FIGHT compares favorably with the classic MEDIUM COOL, and entertains like a latter-day version of THE CANDIDATE.

We see Sharpe James, a six-term incumbent, try every dirty trick in the book to hold on to his office: he threatens business closures for those who put rival Cory Booker's sign in their windows; he smears the Booker campaign with bogus sex scandals; he even uses the fact that out of the two African American candidates, Booker is less "real" for having lighter skin than his. Both sides wrangle for endorsements, meet with community groups, and chase every dollar not nailed down. The kind of back room manipulations used by James would seem highly improbable in a fictional film. Although it may take place in a different city, this documentary is the perfect companion piece to Season Three of THE WIRE. The similarities between the two political environments is uncanny.

Booker himself, 32 years old at the time of the race, is all forward momentum. Barak Obama is clearly not the only young politician who threatens to breathe some life into our dying democracy. On the eve of the election, a child who has just touched Booker tells Curry, off camera, to smell her hands. "Why, does he have a smell?" "Yes," says the girl. "He smells like the future."
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This film had me glued to my TV set for it's full 90 minutes. Though I don't live that far from New Jersey, I was unaware of the political campaigns for the position of Mayor in Newark, NJ. At first I noted that this was about a campaign four years ago and thought it was an old film. But it's not. It goes right up through 2006.

One of the marks of a great documentary film is that you feel you are really there. This was shot on video and makes it even more realistic (well, it IS real). I find it hard to believe that this Director Marshall Curry's first full-length feature. It's that gripping. And the lead "characters" of Cory Booker and Mayor Sharpe have such distinct personalities that, as the film progresses, you can't help but take sides.

The film was shown on PBS's show P.O.V. but that is usually aired at very oddball, times - and rarely repeated. And the 20-minute interview with Director Curry helps flesh out some of the details and explains why he became the film's narrator.

The best way to watch this film is to know as little as possible about the story before watching it. Let it reveal itself. Then watch the Curry interview.

This is one of the best documentary films I've seen in at least the last six months (and I'm a documentary "addict"). No wonder it was nominated for a 2006 Academy Award!

Steve Ramm "Anything Phonographic"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Must See! May 7, 2007
Verified Purchase
This documentary shows the nity gritty reality of local politics in America. Director Marshall Curry follows the battle between Cory Booker and incumbent Sharp James as they fight for the city of Newark, NJ. For those, like myself, who find themselves losing hope in our nations political leaders, Cory Booker is a true oasis in the desert. This film is one of the best and most meaningful documentaries I have ever seen.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great behind the scenes look at a political machine trying ...
Great behind the scenes look at a political machine trying to stay in power. And the lengths people will go to to protect someone 'like us' vs. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maggie Banducci
5.0 out of 5 stars Senator Cory Booker
what I like about this film is that it shows that Al Sharpton is a poverty pemp, he supported the life long poverty pemp sharp James, when he should have been supporting Cory... Read more
Published 5 months ago by 1 BrotherMack
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie about politics in the US.
We had to watch a movie about politics in the US for one of my daughters classes and this was one of the movies on the list. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Charles A. Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting historical piece
I loved the fact that this film was created prior to Booker's later successful election. Very, very interesting, because the viewer now knows something that no one on the film... Read more
Published 8 months ago by I. Perez
5.0 out of 5 stars I was hooked
This was a great documentary. Interesting to see the new generation of leadership against the backdrop of old school politics. Great job!
Published 13 months ago by Shuronda Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Very engaging movie.
This is a very interesting and well-made documentary about the challenges Cory Booker faced in his first failed mayoral run in Newark. Cory Booker is someone to watch. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ireneymo
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Documentary - My Eyes Opened
This was a great documentary and it really opened my eyes to "what is black" in America. The film did a good job explaining some of the underlying issues with the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Daniel Tait
4.0 out of 5 stars watching Street Fight
met my expectations because I had heard him speak and describe the events and then seeing them sort of completed the experience
Published 17 months ago by John M Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Cory is mayor!
Great documentary. Compelling. Spoiler alert- good guy loses in this film... but does eventually win. Read more
Published 18 months ago by James DC
5.0 out of 5 stars I could not believe what I was seeing...Very informative wow!!!
This is my hometown, I went to school and college there.I started raising my children there I can hardly believe what has happened in the thirty years since I left. Read more
Published 20 months ago by MJ
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