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My Thoughts on Requiem For Detroit

Andrew Norton

re - qui - em: a mass for the dead The BBC documentary, Requiem For Detroit?, clocks in at just under 75 minutes. There is about eight minutes at the end that focuses on the positives currently taking place and the hope for the future after a little over 65 minutes of negativity.

Intro to Requiem For Detroit -

Now I'm not saying the first 65 minutes are not warranted. They lay out the grit, racial tensions, politics, and greed that got Detroit to where it is today. You cannot fully understand why Detroit is in the shape it is in today if you don't look at the past. I found the historical parts of the documentary fascinating.

For instance, how could the "arsenal of democracy" have been so racially divided? We all hear about the 1967 riot, but there was also a race riot on the eve of World War II in 1943 that lasted for three days and resulted in 34 deaths - "twenty-five black residents and nine white residents."

Is it pleasant to look at the bad things that have happened to Detroit? No. However, you need to look at the mistakes of the past in order to not repeat them in the future and right now Detroit has the chance to sort of start over. I'm excited to see what the people of the city of Detroit can accomplish.

On a lighter note, here is a quote from an interview subject that had me rolling (in part for what he said and in part for his deadpan delivery) - Interviewer, "What's going on [talking about the current state of Detroit] here?" Interview Subject, "I don't know, I just woke up." In a city with this many people there was bound to be a few characters interviewed in this documentary.

The hope at the end of this documentary is, to me, the best part. Here is a clip -

"The old American Dream is dead, we're creating the new American Dream."