British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Detroit: Ruin of a City

Synopsis
Once an industrial powerhouse and the hub of the American automobile industry, Detroit is now in serious decline and one of the poorest, most segregated cities in the USA.
With the participation of Detroit artist Tyree Guyton, French sociologist Loïc Wacquant, Detroit-born writer Dan Georgakas, Detroit photographer Lowell Boileau, and a variety of local residents, the film looks back over the history of the city in the twentieth century: over the rise and fall of the social system identified by social theorists as ‘Fordism’; the way the city was shaped by the automobile; and its decline following the deindustrialisation which began in the 1950s, leaving it ill-adapted to the post-Fordist society of the epoch of globalisation. Much of the story is told through a rich variety of archive footage: of the Ford plants, mass protests of the Depression years, Diego Rivera painting his mural ‘Detroit Industry’, the struggle for trade union rights, the riots of 1943 and 1967 - through which the film charts the battle over the image of the city and its industry that began when the Ford Motor Company started making its own films back in 1913.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain; United States
Year of release
2005
Notes
Subtitles in Spanish and Chinese
Subjects
Social Studies
Keywords
automobiles; documentary films; industry; poverty; socioeconomic problems; urban communities; globalisation; Ford, Henry (1863-1947); sociology; ruined buildings; American Studies

Credits

Director
Michael Chanan; Ralph Steiner
Contributor
Dan Georgakas; Loïc Wacquant; Lowell Boileau; Tyree Guyton

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 0 NTSC
Price
£115.00 [University rate]
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
92 minutes
Year
2013

Sponsor

Name

University of Michigan

Name

University of the West of England

Distributor

Name

Artfilms Europe

Email
info@artfilms.com.au
Web
http://www.artfilms.co.uk External site opens in new window
Phone
+44 208 265 1752
Fax
+44 207 117 5174
Address
PO Box 71507
London
SE10 1BY
United Kingdom
Notes
Artfilms Europe is the European distributor of the collection of Contemporary Arts Media, Australia (previously known as Hush Video). The collection originally specialised in drama and the performing arts but has since widened its remit across the arts spectrum to include visual arts, design, architecture, new media and digital arts in its collection of over 5,000 titles. Separate subject catalogues, printed or online in pdf format, are available for theatre, dance, visual arts, film & cinema, new media, music, performance art and communication & culture. Sale on DVD or streamed on a pay-per-view or subscription basis from www.artfiflms-digital.com. From 2015, private users can subscribe via a digital site licence for £8 per month, allowing access to a selection of 300 - 400 films.

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