Brick City
July 24, 2010 8:56 AM   Subscribe

The entire five-part television documentary series Brick City is currently available through Netflix streaming. The four and a half-hour Sundance Channel documentary chronicles the summer and fall of 2008 in the city of Newark, New Jersey. Among the people the series profiles are Cory Booker, mayor of Newark and subject of the great documentary Street Fight; Garry McCarthy, the white, Bronx-born police director whose innovative measures have reduced the murder rate in the city; Ras Baraka, a charismatic poet and activist who is also the principal of Newark Central High school; Jayda Jacques, former Blood gang member who now mentors young women in Newark; Jiwe Morris, author of the book War of the Bloods in My Veins: A Street Soldier's March Toward Redemption; and many other interesting Newark residents like the Street Doctor and Ali Muslim. The series has often been referred to as a sort of real-life version of The Wire, and has been well-received by critics
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates (15 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Just finished watching this last night. Great series, I'd love to see a 2010 version of it given the impending budget cuts.
posted by playertobenamedlater at 9:09 AM on July 24, 2010

Definitely adding this to the Netflix queue. Thanks.
posted by immlass at 10:43 AM on July 24, 2010

Any alternatives for those of us without Netflix or those outside the US?
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:51 AM on July 24, 2010

Or at least a convenient summary? I see there are clips, but this post seems a little jumbled if you don't have access to the actual material.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:53 AM on July 24, 2010

If you can't watch on Netflix or The Sundance Channel, the series is available for purchase on DVD and may be available for rent in your local video store.

Summary (taken from above link): 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.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:59 AM on July 24, 2010

Cory Booker is a saint among politicians. During his tenure as mayor, he first lived in one of the city's most troubled projects, and still lives in one of the city's more troubled neighborhoods. He also occasionally accompanies the police on their midnight patrols. Newark also had its first murder-free month in over 44 years under his tenure, and he turned down a presidential appointment, citing his commitment to Newark.

Meanwhile, the governor doesn't like him, and is doing everything in his power to stand in the way of Newark's remarkable progress, despite the fact that Booker took meaningful steps to reduce the size of the city government and its budget, without also gutting social services in the process; something that Chris Christie has to date been unable to accomplish.
posted by schmod at 11:14 AM on July 24, 2010 [10 favorites]

Thanks for the heads-up, just added it to the queue and will check it out.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:25 AM on July 24, 2010

Meanwhile, the governor doesn't like him

That's because Chris Christie ran on a platform of scaremongering and carefully coded terms that puts him square in the "wasn't it great when minorities knew their places and unions were broken" wing of the the Republican party.

(His current target is the teacher's union, which is very powerful in NJ.)
posted by mephron at 12:28 PM on July 24, 2010

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll give it a look.
posted by Uncle Chaos at 1:09 PM on July 24, 2010

Great series, and a thumbs up for Street Fight, another must see documentary.

Frankly, I would have voted Booker for president in a heart beat.
posted by IndigoJones at 3:21 PM on July 24, 2010

(Oh, and good post.)
posted by IndigoJones at 3:21 PM on July 24, 2010

Third that Street Fight is awesome.
posted by stratastar at 3:50 PM on July 24, 2010

may be available for rent in your local video store.

Or liberry
posted by IndigoJones at 4:03 PM on July 24, 2010

I am two episodes in and it is really very gripping. Hard not to draw parallels with my hometown, here. Thank so much for the recommendation.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:35 PM on July 26, 2010

Cool, glad you like it. Definitely keep watching - there are some really interesting and really powerful moments in the later episodes.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:29 AM on July 27, 2010

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