We were invited to a screening of Battle for Brooklyn, a documentary on Atlantic Yards, eminent domain abuse and the man at the center of it all, Daniel Goldstein. Here now, our favorite moments.
5.) Love and babies! Though the story is, at its heart, about a guy losing his house, there’s also that whole silver lining thing. There was definitely a collective “aw” in the theater whenever there are shots of Daniel and his Develop Don't Destroy partner/wife Shabnam's adorable newborn. Alleged eminent domain abuse's cutest outcome!
4.) During the hearings to determine if the land seized by eminent domain is blighted, a lawyer for the ESDC gets completely and painfully butchered by a judge. The judge can’t comprehend that a section Pacific Street is indeed blighted and proceeds to skewer the lawyer. The result is a painfully awkward Elmer Fudd moment.
3.) In the way only he could, Marty Markowitz analogizes Brooklyn to a Cheesecake from Junior’s. His take on Atlantic Yards? It’s the strawberries on top of the cake. Also, pretty much every Markowitz moment is gold.
2.) At one point Dan Goldstein’s wife Shabnam Merchant points to a woman laughing blissfully in a pamphlet distributed by Forest City Ratner to promote Atlantic Yards. She mentions that when taking the stock photo the woman assumed the worst that could happen was that it would be used in a Herpes treatment ad. Apparently, she thought Atlantic Yards was worse.
1.) Freddy’s bar co-owner Donald O’Finn being a badass.
Our Impressions: Going into it, it’s obvious that this movie is told from one particular side of the Atlantic Yards argument. Would we go as far as the Brooklyn Paper in calling it “Docu-Ganda”? No, in fact that label comes off over-the-top. Would we recommend it? Yeah. Is it going to change anyone’s mind one way or another? Probably not, but that’s not what it’s trying to do. It premieres this Friday.
· Battle for Brooklyn Official Site
· Atlantic Yards Coverage [Curbed]