fbpx Citizen Jane: Battle for the City | Gene Siskel Film Center
Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

2016, Matt Tyrnauer, USA, 92 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, May 12th 2:00pm
  • Fri, May 12th 8:15pm
  • Sat, May 13th 3:00pm
  • Sat, May 13th 7:45pm
  • Sun, May 14th 1:00pm
  • Sun, May 14th 3:00pm
  • Sun, May 14th 6:00pm
  • Mon, May 15th 6:00pm
  • Tue, May 16th 7:45pm
  • Wed, May 17th 8:15pm
  • Thu, May 18th 6:00pm
Chicago premiere!

"The movie just about pulses with contemporary resonance. It has moments of uncanny overlap with this week’s election, and it explores the scope and meaning of that overly familiar thing — the city — in ways that will box open your thinking. It’s a finely woven tapestry that feels as relevant and alive as the place you live." — Owen Gleiberman, Variety

No one revolutionized the way we think about cities more than Jane Jacobs. The self-educated author of the 1961 masterpiece "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" entered the fray at a time when urban planning was dominated by top-down utopian schemes based on "slum" clearance, high-rise projects, and neighborhood-rupturing expressways. These establishment orthodoxies were lucidly challenged by Jacobs, an outsider and a woman to boot (scorned by her opponents as a "housewife" and "crazy dame"), who discerned that cities were diverse ecosystems based on human interactions, not buildings, and that the most effective changes evolved from the bottom up. The centerpieces of this invigorating documentary are Jacobs's thrilling David-Goliath battles with almighty New York building czar Robert Moses, but director Tyrnauer (VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR) skillfully gives weight to Jacobs's ideas and places them in a larger context of civic protest and grass-roots dissent. Jane Jacobs championed diversity, exposed the arrogance of power, and showed how aroused citizens could successfully stand up to big capital. We need to listen to her voice more than ever today. DCP digital. (MR)

Thursday, May 18 at 6:00 PM: This screening is a Movie Club event. Discussion will be led by Janet Smith, PhD, Co-Director of the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement at the UIC Chicago College of Urban Planning & Public Affairs.

Play Trailer