I do not think this film did justice to the rich subject matter the filmmakers tackled. It was very vague and repetitive, with the same shots of buildings being torn down over and over again, and the same lines being repeated by the narrator several times over. Similarly vague lines are quoted from Jacobs' book. Unfortunately the parts they chose that were specific, such as the need to have 'eyes on the street' at all times of day, are not as relevant in the modern day, as there are so many forms of entertainment that people are not likely to sit on their porch or at their window looking out onto the street, even if it is active. They are more likely lying in bed writing a review on IMDb or watching Netflix. However, most of the exposition of Jacobs' ideas don't even rise to that level of specificity. As a result, the viewer barely knows more about Jane Jacobs' criticisms walking out of the movie than going in. The source of Robert Moses' power wasn't explained. Part of the film contains a smug attack on Le Corbusier only to correct itself latter when they said his ideas were misrepresented. They try to jawbone some feminism at moments but never really pursue the idea.
The film gives the impression Jacobs won (in America, at least), but ignores that high rise apartments and condos are as popular as ever. The lively "street" that Jacobs defended is not present in these new developments. Communities have migrated online. So did Le Corb win in the end after all?
Given the high reviews this received, I expected better. It did show Jacobs' beginnings as a journalist. And there were a few interesting clips of Moses justifying himself. The note he wrote after reading Death and Life was interesting. It shows he did in fact read the book. However, both her and Moses deserve a better documentary.
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