Street Fight (2005)

Street Fight (2005)
7.9
  • 1885
  • Not Rated
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release year: 2005 ()
  • Running time: 83 min
  • Original Title: Street Fight
  • Voted: 1885

This documentary follows the 2002 mayoral campaign in Newark, New Jersey in which a City Councilman, Cory Booker, attempted to unseat longtime mayor Sharpe James.

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  • top notch documentary by 10

    This film does for politics on a local level what "The War Room" did for presidential politics, providing a fascinating in-depth look behind the scenes of campaigns and elections. I agree that "Street Fight" is a bit one-sided, though part of that is by necessity, as sharpe james' staff denied the director any kind of access, which the film shows in a series of outrageous scenes. And besides, documentaries in recent years have generally adhered to a more op-ed kind of style (e.g. fahrenheit 911). But whatever your politics, Street Fight's subject matter is something you haven't seen before, and it is extremely well-done and vastly entertaining. see it.

  • Genuine by 10

    Curry's unvarnished style and long sequences enhance the real life drama as he allows the story to unfold in front of us instead of manufacturing the drama by clever editing. Shot with a hand held camera and edited on a Mac, Curry the film-maker mirrors the determination and resolve of his main subject, political challenger Cory Booker.

    Repeated confrontations in the film make it clear that Curry had an opportunity to make himself the focus of a compelling side story, but he removes his ego completely. He only inserts himself as an occasional off-camera participant whose voice serves as a traditional chorus uttering simple, yet poignant reminders of what is at stake beyond the specific election he is covering. Like his presence in the film, Curry's voice-over narration is also sparse, yet effective. He sticks to open-ended observations and realizations, without ever crossing the line to offer value judgments.

    With its simplicity, small cast including chorus, and theme of family torn asunder, it is not unlike Greek tragedy...

  • Politics Jersey Style by 8

    It is not often that you get to see what goes on in the day to day of a campaign. In Street Fight, we see a newcomer trying to unseat an incumbent that has a 16-year hold on office, and is not afraid to use all the power at his disposal to crush this upstart. In addition, those who have been feeding at the trough of city government for those 16 years do not want their gravy train stopped. Dirty politics, dirty government, and a dirty city badly in need of repair. It makes for a compelling directorial debut and a story that should make all of us want to fight for the person we most want to see in office. It takes more than a vote to change a government!

  • Interesting Doc, w/ a mayor so arrogant, it's sickening. by 8

    This is one of those documentaries that continued to surprise & goes to show just how slimy & supposedly powerful these longtime politicians can be. Worst than anything is the way all those around the mayor all think that just because he's the mayor, he's immune to everything. The previous mayor Sharpe James is such a slimy jerk it's disturbing and somebody needs to put this guy in his place. He is exactly like so many other politicians who say one thing like the previous Governor of N.Y. Elliot Spitzer who crusaded against prostitution than gets caught doing it himself. How this guy James became mayor is beyond my comprehension as he is so loud, brash, a racist against his own. In any other society wouldn't be anything special. Just as the saying goes, which is supposed to be a positive remark, it also applies negatively as well, "Only in America." A good documentary that if you already despise politics will make you despise them more, and to those that like them, it will open your eyes to the ugliness that is just about all campaigns, especially here in the U.S. A truly disturbing, but interesting film to say the least.

  • POLITICS WHAT A BAG...! by 7

    Man, city politics is probably the most soul-killing, mind numbing public spectacle we humans witness from time to time. As evidenced in Street Fight, the chronicle of Sharpe James/Corey Booker mayoral race, one clearly sees the struggle between the bought James & the idealistic Booker fighting for a city that quite possibly doesn't care how the election will turn out since the outcome, to some, is obvious. Next to Illinois, New Jersey has the stench of political corruption on the city level so much so John Sayles created a fictional NJ town in his film, City of Hope, to showcase the rampant malaise affecting his berg. Now in this documentary, we see the corruption & graft in the flesh and we're fascinated by it but not really surprised. Corey Booker has gone on to become a state senator and even his 'successful' stint as a mayor is being recalled as problematic by the electorate which put him there. Can anyone escape the taint of the public calling?