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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Urban > Homelessness > City Planning > Architecture > Arts > A Hole In The Fence (2008/First Run Features DVD)

A Hole In The Fence (2008/First Run Features DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Main Program: C+



Until the economy recently started to tank, the race for tearing down any land that could be bought cheap, developed fast and turned for quick big bucks with the premise that anything cheap and/or in a poor neighborhood was expendable.  Many have commented that the real gritty New York City has been replaced with a Childish, corporate version that has nothing to do with the original, but that is just a larger version of what has been going on since the 1980s in particular.  D.W. Young’s A Hole In The Fence (2008) raised the same questions about the nearby Red Hook area of Brooklyn.


The title refers to an open doorway in a pieced-together fence that separates neighborhoods and asks why people are not looking into other areas as possibly other worlds.  It becomes a metaphor for an over media-saturated society hell bent on the same recycled, monotonous formula thinking that wants to make everything the same.  The cheap, fast buck construction speaks as metaphor and makes for a perfect analogy for how anything new and creative is being bulldozed before it can grow into the next great thing.  This examines the potential of a place like Red Hook and what could be lost with its demise, as well as what has already been lost that has ruined things in this country.


This only runs 46 minutes and though it makes its points, I once again wanted to see this go further, but this is well done and shows a part of the real New York that survives.  Adding to the insanity is that the neighborhood needs to have more wealth to survive, so can it hold its pattern as the old neighborhood or will it have to sell out to become half of what it used to be?  Homelessness is also a major issue here.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image can be soft often, plus you get some archival footage, but it is still a good shoot in what seems like at least some HD shooting.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 is simple stereo at best and the interviews are well recorded enough.  Extras include trailers for other First Run releases, text resource pages, stills, brief Views from the Red Hook Grain Terminal clip and extended interview with architect and Red Hook insider Benjamin Uyeda about the value of the area and like places.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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