Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Zipper Documentary Playing at the Nitehawk

Amy Nicholson

Amy Nicholson's documentary Zipper: Coney Island's Last Wild Ride, chronicles a sordid history of planned decline and redevelopment as real estate dealers and city government vie for control of waterfront property.  Along the way: the displacement of businesses that were the heart and soul of the Coney Island experience, and in their place, a blander, pricier, more anodyne boardwalk world.  In showing what was lost, Nicholson focuses on one ride in particular, the Zipper, its owner Eddie Miranda, and the rest of the Zipper crew.
The film played at the IFC this summer, and will be back in the city for a screening at Williamsburg's Nitehawk cinema on October 30th.  It's essential viewing. As the Bloomberg years draw to a close, I fear we've almost got used to the pillage of neighborhoods, & the casual conveniences of rezoning & eminent domain.  And the properties, institutions, lives tossed aside for another buck.  Historic Bowery buildings, a rowhouse neighbor, a host of libraries, a whole community of businesses at Willets Point?  Twelve years of this seem to have worn us down.  I'm not even that confident about what a new mayor can or will do to turn things around, but I hope my cynicism is mis-founded.  Zipper is a sad film, in showing us what has been lost, but also a beautiful one, and reminds us again what's worth fighting for. We can't take more of the same.

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