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Askew Review 15

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(First Run Features) 2008. Documentary. 45 minutes. Not rated. While traipsing around Red Hook, Brooklyn , one fine afternoon, D.W. Young came across a curious hole in a fence and decided to peer in for a look. What lay behind the great fence was a huge plot of land once developed, but now blighted and basically long forgotten. Wanting more information concerning this land, Mr. Young heads into the territory and discovers a land of homeless squatters and haven for graffiti artists. However, the future of this forgotten land, and its surroundings, are in for a huge change and upheaval: Ikea.
This fairly charming documentary basically has two storylines and to tell these two stories D.W. interviews those with first hand knowledge. One story focuses on the plot of land explored, what it was in the past, the homeless residents, and its various arty usages. Ikea fills the other storyline with its pros and cons delivered by activists and neighbors. This story of box store invasion is nothing new as it is happening all over the country, but D.W. takes you beyond the boring news stories and actually offers the viewer a more personal look at the land and possible effects, negative and positive, of such development. The charm is not only birthed by the great cinematography of the run down area (I love run down areas), but also D.W.’s ability to simply allow the camera’s subjects speak their mind without forcing an agenda. – Denis Sheehan


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