There have been some remarkable photographic portfolios published in the last few years about the baroque collapse at the heart of this iconic US city, but now this wide-ranging documentary survey of the various streams — cultural, social, economic, political — that have made Detroit what it is are scrutinised. At the heart is an analysis of Fordism, that vehicle-driven philosophy of social being that transformed the city, but it’s also the image Ford created of themselves and the community through their own films that is investigated. Add in knowing participants on Diego Rivera’s epic murals, trade union struggles and post-war riots and you have politically astute film-making that’s very much kin to the hits of the recent doc resurgence, Intelligent and enquring viewing.
Michael Chanan, George Steinmetz
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