Andrew James, co-director of last year’s Cleanflix (a film about the Mormon enforced editing of R-Rated films) has started a Kickstarter account for his next project, Street Fighting Man. The film is (or will be) a sprawling look at life in Detroit, post economic crisis. James plans to focus on a few choice characters including James “Jack Rabbit” Jackson, a retired cop who spends his days driving a tow truck and his nights intimidating criminals with his video camera and shot gun. He’s sort of like Robocop only he’s not part robot and isn’t tormented by the memories of his past life. Definitely sounds like a great setting for a documentary and based on the promo clip above, the film should be a pretty cinematic experience, seemingly drawing influences from fictional works like The Wire or Traffic. Here’s some background on the project:
Detroit Michigan has been decimated by the economic crisis. With the highest unemployment rate in the country, Motor City is dying, one neighborhood at a time. Not only are foreclosed homes boarded up and empty, so too are factories, warehouses, apartment complexes, and even police stations. Neighborhoods and communities with little resources have been left to fend for themselves as violent crime, drugs, vandalism, poverty, and hopelessness seep into the brick, steel, and concrete. At night, gangs and junkies literally take over, roaming the streets in search of drugs and money. According to one Detroit resident, “it’s like Omega Man.”
Blighted streets, vacant lots, burned-out homes, empty factories, and tall grass are often found just around the corner from beautiful neighborhoods, lush parks, and even waterfront property. This stark contrast of rich and poor is everywhere. With the influx of drugs, crime, joblessness, and rising living costs, middle-class neighborhoods are disappearing. But despite all this, some residents are clinging to hope and fighting for a better future. Whole communities are banding together to fight crime, grow food, revitalize neighborhoods, tend vacant lots, and clean city streets. The level of civic participation in the East Jefferson area is unmatched by any other community in the country and this grassroots struggle is happening now.
As a person with strong ties to Michigan, I am deeply passionate about this project. I have been to Detroit many times, most recently to conduct research for this film. I have spent time in the streets talking to residents and listening to their collective frustrations. I have explored abandoned factories, observed community action meetings, and witnessed first hand the types of injustice that residents are dealing with on a daily basis. My ability to connect with the people of this community has allowed me to develop strong relationships with fascinating and complex subjects, many of whom have already committed to participate in the film. And lastly, I have a strong vision for the project and the passion to bring it to life.
I highly recommend you check out the video above and if you like what you see (and want to see more), go ahead and donate to the film’s Kickstarter page. I’ve embedded the widget in our sidebar (which will remain there until the funding period is over) and you can head right over to their Kickstarter page to read about the film and check out the many incentives they’ve set up for those willing to donate.