The art of Kevin Blythe Sampson

THE ART OF
KEVIN BLYTHE SAMPSON

1/31/11

Kevin Review of Brick City," the award-winning documentary set in Newark


I watched the Documentary on Newark Last night. Besides the pride that I felt in seeing my town on television.

link to star ledger review

This show had it moments, I wasn’t too sure about Cory Booker (I voted for him of course), but this Documentary showed a side of him that I really liked. He came across as a caring, highly intelligent, and most of all human, the mayor is funny, that is a great asset. The mayor also looks like some one that you would have fun hanging with. The best scenes where of the inside look at how local government works, it changed my view of the politics of Newark. Beyond that, it turned into a soup opera, and lost me after 15 minutes or so.
 I could tell that outsiders did this film; they didn’t have any feel for Newark at all, and chose to fall into that old trick of showing poor people as if they are some weird kind of spirit animals. I am not interested in a bunch of young people struggling with the law as they seemed to like to center upon. And why for God sakes is the face of Newark always, Gang Bangers. Why cant they show some of the many good folks (not calling their subjects bad folks), I mean there are tons of stories here in Newark., Of people places and things, Where were the Latinos in Newark,…………..Brazilians, Whites and others that stayed here and held up the city, along with African Americans. Why are these documentaries always,so one sided and so shallow. And what about the artist……. they should have followed Jerry Gant around for a few days and saw the people that are really the backbone of Newark. Tried to figure out why so many of us stay here.
And, if they were going to talk about the gangs then really do it. Why are we always defined by gangs and crime, they never talk about the good folks held hostage by the violence.
Maybe Newark’s “I am gonna get mine spirit” cant be properly displayed on film, or maybe before they do a big project like this they really need to see Newark.