Street Fight

Overview

A hotly contested political race generates a wealth of drama in this documentary from filmmaker Marshall Curry. Sharpe James is a veteran politician who has been mayor of Newark, NJ, since 1986; by the admission of his own spokespeople, James is a "machine" politician who uses muscle and influence to get things done, and while he's enjoyed the fruits of his success, his administration has been accused of having a long history of corruption. In 2002, Cory Booker, a lawyer who was a member of the Newark City ...
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Overview

A hotly contested political race generates a wealth of drama in this documentary from filmmaker Marshall Curry. Sharpe James is a veteran politician who has been mayor of Newark, NJ, since 1986; by the admission of his own spokespeople, James is a "machine" politician who uses muscle and influence to get things done, and while he's enjoyed the fruits of his success, his administration has been accused of having a long history of corruption. In 2002, Cory Booker, a lawyer who was a member of the Newark City Council, announced he was running for mayor, and it didn't take long for the contest to get ugly. Booker was a graduate of Yale Law School, a Rhodes Scholar, and an advocate of more open and honest government, and James and his staff wasted no time in attacking his qualifications and personality in public. While both candidates were African-American, James chose to play the race card, questioning if Booker was "black" enough and suggesting the church-going Baptist was actually a Jew. James' campaign staff didn't stop at verbal attacks, and as Marshall Curry began covering the James and Booker campaigns, he found himself frequently attacked by James' supporters with his camera running and in full view of other reporters, and a number of local businessmen stated for the record that they were supporting James for fear of reprisals later on. The film that resulted from Curry's efforts, Street Fight, received a 2005 Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature.
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Special Features

Includes interview with director Marshall Curry
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This documentary is as compelling as any political thriller. Indeed, Marshall Curry's depiction of Cory Booker's 2002 campaign for the mayor's office in Newark is full of exhilarating highs, devastating lows, and all the plot twists and suspense of a good potboiler. However, the reason that the end result remains compelling throughout is that Curry never loses sight of the human story between the events and always keeps it front and center. Some might consider Street Fight slanted since it favors Booker's side of the story, but Curry actually shows a surprising amount of restraint given his negative treatment by Newark mayor Sharpe James' staff. He merely presents James' many manipulations of the truth and allows them to speak for themselves. As the viewer witnesses the repercussions of the mayor's smear campaign -- particularly its effect on the more gullible members of his constituency -- the film creates a disturbing portrait of how the manipulation of emotion is often more important than the issues in a political campaign. Thus, Street Fight is an invaluable insight into how some things never change in the world of politics.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/9/2007
  • UPC: 796019796439
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Rating:

  • Source: Netflix
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:21:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cory Booker Participant
Sharpe James Participant
Pablo Fonseca Participant
Rich McGrath Participant
Al Sharpton Participant
Jesse Jackson Participant
Jim McGreevey Participant
Technical Credits
Marshall Curry Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Producer, Screenwriter
Liz Garbus Executive Producer
Rory Kennedy Executive Producer
Mary Manhardt Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Street Fight: A Film by Marshall Curry
1. Cory Booker for Mayor [8:34]
2. Mayor Sharpe James [7:13]
3. Name Recognition [8:23]
4. Scandal & Challenges [8:29]
5. Racial Destractions [7:33]
6. Fundraising Efforts [9:04]
7. Campaign of Intimidation [7:27]
8. Rough & Tumble Politics [6:02]
9. Endorsements [5:11]
10. Election Day [5:55]
11. Results [6:41]
12. End Credits [:53]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Street Fight: A Film by Marshall Curry
   Play
   Chapters
   Interview With Director Marshall Curry
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