View Full Version : General Politics I could be late to the party. "Street Fight" - Anyone else see this?

01-20-2010, 04:55 AM
So I realize this movie is 5 years old but it popped up on Netflix and I had never heard of it.

Really interesting to watch...


Street Fight is a documentary by filmmaker Marshall Curry, chronicling Cory Booker's 2002 campaign against Sharpe James for mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Other credits include Rory Kennedy (executive producer), Liz Garbus (executive producer), Mary Manhardt (additional editor), Marisa Karplus (associate producer), and Adam Etline (story consultant). Street Fight screened at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival and was later aired on the PBS series P.O.V. on July 5, 2005, and CBC Newsworld in Canada on May 7, 2006.
The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. [1]

The film details the hard-fought mayoral campaign by a young community activist (Booker) and City Council member against a 16-year incumbent mayor (James) with a powerful political machine. The documentary follows Booker and several of his campaign workers from their early days of door-knocking on Newark streets through the campaign's dramatic conclusion. Booker moves to Brick Towers, one of the city's worst public housing buildings, in order to be accepted by his constituents, but ends with endorsements from Spike Lee, Cornell West, and other prominent African American figures. The movie brings to light many issues plaguing minority communities in Newark and reveals how the city government has failed to acknowledge these issues. The film also raises questions of race, and what it means to be "black," as Sharpe James questions Booker's African American heritage and roots to his community.
Curry captures on film corrupt attempts by Mayor Sharpe James and city employees, including police and "code enforcement," to sabotage Booker's campaign, using tactics that include shutting down local businesses that hold Booker fundraisers, demoting city workers who support Booker, and demolishing Booker signs in violation of a standing order by a federal judge, in what becomes a true urban political "street fight." In one memorable scene, city police assault the documentary maker on a public sidewalk for filming the mayor, breaking the microphone off his camera in broad daylight in front of other journalists.