Koch, Neil Barsky's documentary portrait of irascible, galvanizing New York Mayor Ed Koch, opens this weekend at The Belcourt with the fanfare due a movie that's getting hailed as an outstanding debut. On Saturday, after the 4 p.m. screening, director Barsky will participate in a post-film discussion via Skype. On Sunday, author and Vanderbilt professor of urban sociology Richard Lloyd will discuss the movie after the 4 p.m. show.
The synopsis from The Belcourt's website:
Former Mayor Ed Koch was the quintessential New Yorker. Ferocious, charismatic, and hilariously blunt, Koch, who died in February at the age of 88, ruled New York from 1978 to 1989—a down-and-dirty decade of grit, graffiti, near-bankruptcy and rampant crime. First-time filmmaker (and former Wall Street Journal reporter) Neil Barsky has crafted an intimate and revealing portrait of this intensely private man, his legacy as a political titan, and the town he helped transform. The tumult of his three terms included a fiercely competitive 1977 election; an infamous 1980 transit strike; the burgeoning AIDS epidemic; landmark housing renewal initiatives; and an irreparable municipal corruption scandal. Through candid interviews and rare archival footage, Koch thrillingly chronicles the personal and political toll of running the world’s most wondrous city in a time of upheaval and reinvention.