A still from Detropia.
God save Detroit. In 1930, it was the fastest growing city in the world. Today a governor-appointed emergency manager is eyeing the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts as a way to pay off some $15 billion in debt (the prospect of selling off the DIA’s masterpieces has, of course, been met with outrage from within the community and beyond). Get a closer look at the long-stalled Motor City in Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady‘s Detropia, which makes its television debut tonight on Independent Lens (click here to check your local PBS listings). No postindustrial gloomfest, the documentary follows several Detroiters–including an owner of a blues bar, an auto union rep, a group of young artists, and a gang of illegal “scrappers”–in an attempt to illuminate both a city and a country grasping for a new identity. Say Ewing and Grady, “We hope that the rest of America can see that they may have more in common with Detroit than they thought.”