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Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Sat, Jun 24 / 7 pm & 9 pm
Sun, Jun 25 / 7 pm
Wed, Jun 28 / 7 pm
Thur, Jun 29 / 9 pm
Directed by Matt Tyrnauer
2016, USA, 92 min

In 1960, Jane Jacobs’s book The Death and Life of Great American Cities sent shockwaves through the architecture and planning worlds, with its exploration of the consequences of modern planners’ and architects’ reconfiguration of cities. Jacobs was also an activist and she was involved in many fights in mid-century New York, while trying to stop “master builder” Robert Moses from running roughshod over the city. This film retraces the battles for the city as personified by Jacobs and Moses, as urbanization moves to the very front of the global agenda. Many clues for formulating solutions to a dizzying array of urban issues can be found in Jacobs’s prescient text, and a close second look at her thinking and writing about cities is very much in order.

Citizen Jane is generously  sponsored by the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to advancing the awareness and appreciation of Winnipeg’s built environment through public education. Together with the Cinematheque they present an ongoing series dedicated to architecture and design.

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Reviews

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City tells the story of a David-and-Goliath fight over urban planning that took place more than 50 years ago. Yet the movie just about pulses with contemporary resonance.It’s also got great sparks of conflict and features two nearly mythological antagonists. In one corner is Robert Moses, the scabrous New York power broker and construction czar who, in the years after World War II, transformed the city by gutting its poorer sections and erecting miles of concrete-slab housing projects and snaking superhighways. In the other corner is Jane Jacobs, activist and author of “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” (1961), who led an uprising against Moses’ dehumanized dream of a paved-over utopia.
-Variety
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