Fisher Premiere Wednesday: A Film About How 'Detroiters Never Give Up'

Our city is a filmmakers' magnet, it seems lately.

New releases include "The United States of Detroit," a moderate-budget documentary by first-time director Tylor Norwood of California that premieres at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Fisher Theatre.

Tickets are $10 for the film and a panel discussion.

Robin Runyan has a few details at Curbed Detroit:

The documentary highlight’s Detroit’s struggles . . . and potential, with an emphasis on community projects that encourage people to create. . . .

It will be the first time in 30 years that the Fisher Theatre has hosted a film screening. The screening will have a Q & A afterwards with Norwood, journalists Soledad O’Brien and Miles O’Brien and members of the cast.

Norwood, a cinematographer on two previous documentaries and a short film, made this 86-minute film for an estimated $175,000, says Internet Movie Database. He wrote it with Dana Schwartz.

It looks at BLVD Harambe Empowerment Center, an east-side nonprofit program of the Church of the Messiah, and its pastor, the Rev. Barry Randolph. Other interview subjects are Free Press editorial page editor Stephen Henderson, mayoral chief of staff Alexis Wiley and neighborhood organizers Kadiri Sennefer, Oya Amakisi and DJ Valdez.  

The theme is that Detroit's comeback is home-grown, not dependent on outside saviors. The director frames it this way in promotional materials:

This is a film about the power and necessity of community action in Detroit, and the street level solutions that residents there are finding.

Detroiters never give up, and they know that if the city is coming back it's going to be on their belief and from their hard work.

The characters in our film succeed . . . by activating the power of community to take back their blocks and regain a semblance of what we all think life should look like in America. 

Tickets for Wednesday's general admission screening are $10, with proceeds going to Rev. Randolph's program. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the 6 p.m. showing. The panel discussion follows art 7:30. p.m. Ticketmaster sells advance tickets for a $5.30 fee.

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