See the Atlantic Yards docu-ganda tomorrow!

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Look, we’re not going to lie to you: Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky’s exhaustive new docu-ganda about the Atlantic Yards mega-project (eight years and counting!) is not the best documentary you’ll ever see. But the “Battle for Brooklyn” filmmakers get major points for their painstaking approach to illuminating the horrendous process that created Bruce Ratner’s Frankenstein.

Sure, a little less hagiography on Dan Goldstein and a lot more Kelo could’ve made this an Oscar contender, but it’s worth seeing if only to relive one of the most-important chapters in the living history of Brooklyn.

Tomorrow, catch it at IndieScreen in Williamsburg.

“Battle for Brooklyn,” at IndieScreen [289 Kent Ave. at S. Second St. in Williamsburg, (347) 227-8030], June 11, 8 pm and on June 17 at noon.

Updated 12:25 pm, June 10, 2011: Oops. The Fort Greene screening was on June 9. Head to Williamsburg for Saturday night's event.
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Reader Feedback

Eazy D from Sheepshead Bay says:
Norm should be edited to increase ratings.
June 10, 2011, 11:28 am
Rizzo from Prospect Heights says:
Ratner should re-edit the raw footage and make a documentary called "Sore Losers!"
June 10, 2011, 11:47 am
Dave from Clinton Hill says:
The Fort Greene Park screening was last night not tonight.
June 10, 2011, 11:55 am
Dave from Clinton Hill says:
Correct info can be found here:
June 10, 2011, 11:58 am
Green-ster says:
this film sounds so over-rated already.
June 10, 2011, 1:08 pm
Bill from Park Slope says:
The film has had only good reviews. perhaps go see it before judging it?

And sure, a long discussion with "experts" about a Supreme Court case would have made it a riveting piece of cinema. c'mon.
June 10, 2011, 2:52 pm
Bruce from Downtown says:
Perhaps Bruce Ratner can re-edit the footage
and call it, "I, Kleptocrat."
June 10, 2011, 2:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I suggest that anyone who hasn't seen this film should see it. I saw it when it was playing over that the Brooklyn Heights Cinema last week. This film says what really happened, and shows what the people that some of you wish were dead really did. The only people who give it negative views are those who have never seen it, which sort of reminds of the sexist who claim that they know the WNBA better than those who have actually seen it when never watching a game in their life. Also, I think that those who don't want to see the film are afraid of the truth and that everything Ratner spoonfed them will end up being debunked just like that.
June 10, 2011, 4:24 pm
Gersh's from Conscience says:
Once upon a time the Brooklyn Paper would have made a big deal out of this.
June 10, 2011, 4:34 pm
Dave from Clinton Hill says:
In addition to IndieScreen, the film also opens at Cinema Village in Manhattan on June 17th.
June 10, 2011, 5:53 pm
Paul from Park Slope says:
and you can buy tickets for the Cinema Village screenings here:
June 10, 2011, 6:03 pm
Jacob from Park Slope says:
Yup, Brooklyn Paper went all quiet on Atlantic Yards after Murdoch bought the newspaper. Sad to see the loss of an independent voice.
June 10, 2011, 11:11 pm
Anthony from Cobble Hill says:
The movie lost me when uber-slanted Norman Odor's brutally weird mug popped in and he started waxing poetically about how he thinks he's the only person covering this story right. The Daniel Goldstein saga was a little stretched, but it was interesting to learn how he lost a fiance and gained a family during the fight. Thought Patti Hagan didn't get enough credit. Thought filmmakers could have tried harder to get both sides -- although, unlike Norman, they at least tried. That being said, this project is such a debacle so there can only be one ending ... an arena and vacant lots for decades.
June 11, 2011, 3:42 am
Everyone's a critic from dtb says:
"Anthony from Cobble Hill" doesn't know what he's talking about. Norman Oder has two brief cameos in the film. At the end of the film he says something about how the media and the government haven't done their jobs. He doesn't say anything about what he'd been doing.
June 11, 2011, 6:01 am
Caroline from Carroll Gardens says:
Bottom line: NYS reserves the right to use eminent domain to accomplish what it did at Atlantic Yards. That was the case in 2003, and is the case now. In the long view of NYC history, this project is a victory for Brooklyn and NYC. Let all the angry original gentrifiers fly off to somewhere else to build their fantasy "urban utopia." This is Brooklyn, not Berkeley. Brooklyn is a true city in its own right, and thank god that we have a government that recognizes this. Yes, the economic incentive to build all 16 or so office and residential towers has evaporated, and the likely result will be decades of just an arena, maybe a couple buildings, and parking... but, the government through its partnership with this developer succeeded in accomplishing the main goal of this project: to expand the parameters of downtown Brooklyn over the Flatbush/ Atlantic / 4th Ave intersections in order to fulfill a development intention for the area dating back to the early 20th Century, and to return a pro sports team to the borough in a facility that will accommodate hundreds of other events (music, theatre, conventions, etc). Do the Atlantic Yards opponents really think that this area had all that infrastructure (a dozen subway lines, buses, and the LIRR) just so the surrounding nabe would be built with 3-storey brick row-houses? That is absurd. Look at the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower, built in the 20s. This area was supposed to feature the exact type of density now greenlighted by Atlantic Yards. The great depression derailed those original plans and finally Brooklyn is back to a point where it has developers willing to build on such a grand scale. Atlantic Yards has blown the boundaries for high-density development open in the area and returned a bit of solid original intent to the area's potential. Yes, people were displaced but they were compensated. Eminent domain exists for exactly this purpose. Too bad those opponents delayed the project for so long. Everyone who is upset that we are not seeing Frank Gehry glamour or now will be stuck with acres of empty lots until the economy rebounds can thank Wall Street for tanking the economy and Dan Goldstein, et al. for selfishly delaying the project simply because they didn't want to see larger urban development in the area.
June 11, 2011, 4:50 pm
ron from Park Slope says:
Another ignorant commenter. Ignorant on the facts of the law, the facts of the project, the facts of the fight, and, clearly ignorant of the film as this person, it is obvious, has not seen the film.
June 11, 2011, 7:09 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Caroline, before you talk about eminent domain, please look it up in the dictionary and tell me what the definition of it is. Just because the court made a ruling for it, doesn't mean they were right about it, and there have been times when even the US Supreme Court has made mistakes. Being by a major transit hub doesn't mean that this project should be built either. If this was done through ULURP rather than SEQRA, then it would have never gotten approved especially since many local council members opposed it, which is why Ratner bypassed that. Your mention of the WSB means nothing here, because when that was built, the owner of the bank didn't use eminent domain to get what he needed nor did he use taxpayer dollars to build it, he bought them at a fair market value. BTW, Goldstein never did want to sell his place, but was forced to do so by the state, so he had to make a deal to get a good compensation, but it was still less than what Ratner's CEOs made. Again, you are just another one of those drinking the koolaid, and you should see the film. On a side note, I do make two cameo appearences in that film as well as Oder, but I don't talk at all in there.
June 11, 2011, 11:41 pm
Mel says:
Wow: Gersh the new "Andrew Sarris" please!

True this:
Everyone's a critic from dtb says:
"Anthony from Cobble Hill" doesn't know what he's talking about. Norman Oder has two brief cameos in the film. At the end of the film he says something about how the media and the government haven't done their jobs. He doesn't say anything about what he'd been doing.


"Anthony From Cobble Hill"
Thought filmmakers could have tried harder to get both sides

Yeah - because the 7 years of every paper being controlled by Ratner's million dollar pr firm, didn't cover enough of their "side."
June 12, 2011, 2 am
Lee from Prospect Heights says:
Doust thinks you give Goldstein a little too much power, as do most who try to blame him. If he had that much control or power or greed, he'd have worked for Ratner. To think that some guy living in the footprint was the evil doer is just pure unadulterated stupidity.
June 12, 2011, 2:03 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Anyone who think that this film is completely biased in favor of the opposition is nothing but a hypocrite. Most of the media that reported on the Atlantic Yards was biased in favor of Ratner. Even those such as WSJ and Crains NY were in his favor as well. I am glad that we have people like Oder to mention what really happened. For the most part, the mainstream media ignored those who are truly affected by this and even vilified them at times. Please see the film if you haven't already, because it will show what most of the media will never tell you. When I saw it, I noticed some stuff that I didn't know about such as exposing that BUILD was clearly paid by Ratner through looking at their donations. Before you judge this film, see it first.
June 12, 2011, 3:10 pm
Dan the conservative from ex-brooklyn, now in staten Island says:
I'm probably as far to the right politically as many of you are to the left. But what Ratner got away with sets a bad precedent. No neighborhood is safe from eminent domain abuse now. The area around the LIRR was not blighted in any way. And who the hell decides what 'blighted' is anyway? This will come back to haunt us. Not only that but a mother-of-all-traffic-jams is in the making. Most people will drive to the new stadium clogging up the streets worse than now.
June 12, 2011, 5 pm
Ray from Bay Ridge says:
To Caroline: The subways were not built with the expectation of increased poulation density. They were built there for engineering reasons. Flatbush Avenue is the widest street so it was chosen for the IRT and BMT. The LIRR goes back to the 1870s if not earlier.
June 12, 2011, 5:12 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Actually, the LIRR goes back to the 1840's, but the this very line of the LIRR was actually done a decade earlier and was absored into it. The real reason the subway was built was to help transport people from one part of the city to another with fast time. Building high density near a subway station actually causes the supersaturation effect where the place becomes to full to use because of all the people going there. I suggest anyone who supports this project trying using that very hub durring peak hours and see what it's like, and if it's bad now, just wait when after it's built. The same thing goes for the traffic intersection on Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, which was the very reason not to have a sports facility there in the first place like the one for the Dodgers, which is where Ratner now has his Atlantic Center Mall.
June 12, 2011, 6:56 pm
Anthony from Cobble Hill says:
Hey Taj, find me a story that Norman Odor ever did where he got two sides, then we'll talk. He is a shill.
June 12, 2011, 9:44 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Anthony, first of all, get my name right. There is a thing known as copy and paste if you don't want to type it. Anyway, Oder was never seeked by DDDB to blog about this, he came on his own. He has reported both the positives and negatives. However, he does see the media bias in this issue, and he mentions what really happens. If you really want to know what he is saying, then email him yourself, because I am not his secretary.
June 12, 2011, 9:51 pm

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