DETROPIA

Can Motor City rise from its ashes? Americans hope so, as there is a growing feeling that as Detroit goes, so goes the nation. This film tells the dramatic story of a city and its most innovative people who refuse to leave the building, even as the flames are rising.

Detroit was the birthplace of the middle-class, an industrial utopia where anyone who worked hard enough could experience the %u201CAmerican dream.%u201D

Today, Detroit is on the brink of bankruptcy. In the past 10 years this Midwestern icon has lost 25% of its population and 50% of its manufacturing jobs. City officials are in the midst of the most dramatic %u201Cdownsizing%u201D of an American city ever seen - demolishing thousands of homes, reconsolidating massive tracts of excess land, cutting basic services and encouraging Detroiters in marginal neighborhoods to move. Detroiters who have stuck with the city are at the breaking point. Artists and curious outsiders flock to the city in search of inspiration and opportunity.

Racial tension, globalization, lack of innovation and greed has led to a moment of truth for Detroit. How Motor City reboots itself will set the example for countless other post-industrial cities with similar fates. And today the entire country is watching to see if this storied metropolis has the courage, creativity and grit to reinvent itself%u2026 instead of implode.

DETROPIA is a cinematic tapestry that chronicles the lives of several Detroiters trying to survive the D and make sense of what is happening to their city. An owner of a blues bar, a young blogger, an auto union rep, a group of young artists, an opera impresario and a gang of illegal %u201Cscrappers%u201D make up an unlikely chorus that illuminates the tale of both a city and a country in a soul-searching mood, desperate for a new identity.

Status

In production

  • Sundance 2012

Production team