25 gifts under $25, No. 2: My Brooklyn, your Brooklyn

my brooklyn

A scene at Barber Jack’s Barbershop, captured in My Brooklyn, before they got the boot

Christmas gifts aren’t supposed to be about learning, or so goes the conventional wisdom pushed by the entertainment-industrial complex. But a gift that teaches you something is valuable, especially something like My Brooklyn, which studies the story of Downtown Brooklyn and Fulton Mall, and the changes wrought on it in the Bloomberg years. Race, class, and Bloomberg’s vision of a luxury city all collide in an examination of the past and future of Brooklyn.

My Brooklyn is a gentrification documentary, but instead of focusing on hotbeds like Williamsburg or Bushwick, director Kelly Anderson chooses instead to focus on Downtown, which is sometimes overlooked in the gentrification debate. Anderson, who moved to Brooklyn in 1988, is also cognizant of her status as a gentrifier, an admirable bit of self-awareness. The movie isn’t angry or self-righteous, instead letting its cast of characters, from local business owners and people on the street to politicians and developers give their views on what the Fulton Mall, and Brooklyn, were and what they should become. $25 from the My Brooklyn website