Now that we’ve confirmed that gentrification does exist, it’s time to talk about it. It’s a hard conversation to have, and maybe even a harder one to start, which is why we’re lucky that media is here for us. My Brooklyn is a documentary about a borough that’s changing – and not always for the better. Director Kelly Anderson presents an admittedly biased view of gentrification evident in the tagline, building a narrative that pits displaced local business owners against developers and city officials, who insist that change is unequivocally good for the borough.
Anderson, who moved to Brooklyn in 1988 at the forefront of the city’s demographic change, identifies herself as a gentrifier aiming to understand the forces that reshaped her neighborhood, refusing to sidestep the issues of class and race. She interviews a number of notable figures with different relationships to gentrification – complicit in it, critical of it, or displaced by it.
The film makes a note that gentrification is nothing new, nor is it anything specific to Brooklyn. More accurately, it’s an American historical institution, if not an American tradition. But maybe that’s all the more reason we should be talking about it.
My Brooklyn is screening at reRun Theater at 147 Front Street in DUMBO. Showings are from tonight to Thursday, January 10th at 7:30 and 10:15 each evening, with special panel discussions at each 7:30 screening. No word on whether or not the panels will discuss pop up espresso shops.