This past year was so filled with quality documentaries that I put out a list of the ten best – and I still left many, many qualities films off. But one movie I didn’t leave off was Street Fight – in fact it was my number one doc of the year. And now I have three copies of the DVD to give away to lucky CHUD readers who I guarantee will love this film.
Director Marshall Curry goes to Brick City, Newark New Jersey, for the 2002 mayoral election. On one side is the incumbent, corrupt and shady Mayor Sharpe James. He even has a bad guy’s name. On the other side is young idealist Cory Booker. Curry probably hoped to find something interesting about the politics of our decaying urban centers, but what he really found was an incredible – and incredibly dirty – battle as Sharpe James did everything possible to defeat the newcomer. The stuff that happens in Street Fight will make your blood boil and make you want to get involved in local politics just so you can kick the shit out of people like Sharpe James, because every community has one of these entrenched scumbags.
Here’s a bit from my review:
It’s hard to imagine that things the Sharpe James campaign does – breaking into Booker’s office, detaining supporters as possible terrorists, illegally removing campaign signs, using the city police force to strong arm local businesses into not supporting Booker, claiming that Booker isn’t black (he’s light skinned but his parents, who were involved in the civil rights movement, would be surprised to learn he’s white) – happened in New Jersey’s biggest city just four years ago. It’s astonishing to see Sharpe James freak out on reporters on TV, blatantly ignore federal court rulings and bald faced lie every single chance he gets, and get away with it.
This movie has to been seen to be believed, and now you have a chance to see it. Send me your name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org, and maybe you’ll be one of the lucky three.