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May 26 – Jun 1, 2017

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Dir. Matt Tyrnauer USA 92 min Not Rated

2017 IFC Films

This timely documentary details the revolutionary thinking of Jane Jacobs and the origins of her magisterial 1961 treatise “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” in which she singlehandedly undercut her era’s orthodox model of city planning, exemplified by the massive Urban Renewal projects of New York “Master Builder” Robert Moses. Jacobs and Moses figure centrally in the film as two larger-than-life personalities: Jacobs, a journalist with provincial origins and no formal training in city planning, and Robert Moses, the upper class, high prince of government and urban theory fully ensconced in New York’s halls of power and privilege. Both reveal themselves to be master tacticians who, in the middle of the 20th century, became locked in an epic struggle over the fate of the city. At a time when urban redevelopment and civil rights are once again topics of the day, CITIZEN JANE offers a playbook, courtesy of Jane Jacobs, for organizing communities and speaking the truth to entrenched and seemingly insurmountable powers.

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