For readers in the DC area, the movie Battle for Brooklyn is playing at the Dome Theater in Arlington this weekend. The film explores eminent domain in the Forest City Ratner development at Atlantic Yards. It will be playing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with a Q&A with the directors Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley after each screening.
The Atlantic Yards development relied on obtaining many properties through the standard of eminent domain made possible by the Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London . Before the Kelo decision, eminent domain could only be used for public use, accepted to mean government purposes such as road or transit building. That landmark decision widened the potential use of eminent domain to any development that will benefit the public by, for example, increasing the tax base.
Battle for Brooklyn has received positive reviews and has been shortlisted for and Oscar. The film follows the work of Daniel Goldstein, the Jane Jacobs-style community activist who has been leading the losing battle against eminent domain.
I’m planning to attend the movie this Sunday, January 15th at 6:00 pm. If any of you would like to go to that showing as well, would you like to meet up for drinks before or after? I would suggest Galaxy Hut but I’m open to somewhere closer to the theater also. If you’re interested, please comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The film is also playing this week in Chicago, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh. In March it will be in Boston, so check the movie’s website if you’re interested in seeing it in any of these cities.