Goliath and me | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Goliath and me 

Battle for Brooklyn tells the story of a little guy fighting an eminent domain seizure.

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You can fight city hall, but when city hall is in bed with a $9 billion real estate developer, forget it. This video documentary by Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley (Horns and Halos) chronicles the seven-year struggle between the people of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, and the New York executives of Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises, which manipulated eminent domain law to seize 22 acres of the neighborhood for a giant development to be anchored by a sports arena. Daniel Goldstein, a resident who fought the development to the bitter end, serves as the video's protagonist, but his personal story isn't especially interesting. The documentary is more valuable for its cold-eyed look at how real estate interests work the levers of power in state and city government, dangling the vague promise of job creation in exchange for sweetheart deals that drain the public coffers.

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