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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.
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
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Top customer reviews
the night of Obama's election.
The 'star' is Newark's absurdly charismatic mayor Corey Booker, whom the series paints as a man truly on
a mission to help his city, without turning him into a one-note saint.
Yet, by following several story lines; a young, poor woman trying to get her life together as she moves
away from drugs and gangs and tries to become a force for good despite awful obstacles, the new Director
of the police department who seems very effective, but is fought and resented within the department for
coming from New York, and taking power from the existing Chief of Police, and several other well chosen
character fighting, each in their own way, for change, we really get a mosaic of a modern city and it's terrible
It has been called a real-life version of 'The Wire' ad nauseum, but that really is good description.
There are arguable flaws. It can feel a bit one sided, or at least myopic at times. Since we usually only follow
one character in a given situation, it's hard to know what the other side's point of view is. (For example, we so
rarely see the Police Director's rival - the Chief- we barely know what he looks like, much less whether he has any
validity in his complaints.
But I was willing to accept that as part of the nature of the series. It's not meant to be 'fair and balanced', it's a
study of a handful of individuals and their experiences, a group of character studies of people trying to change
their city, not objective reporting. Looked at in that way, this is powerful, engrossing, moving stuff.
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.
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.
Mayor Booker, not unlike President Obama, is a symbol of the positive effects of the Civil Rights movement.
This documentary follows the mayor after he faces one challenge after another.
Dashaun Jiwe Morris
Author: War of the Bloods in My Veins
Peace & Safety