In an age when political activism is experiencing a major revival, from women’s rights marches to tax protests, we’re all in need of a little guidance when it comes to how to make a real difference. And if you’re feeling a tad fatigued from it all, as many people are, what better way to re-up on confidence and motivation than to watch a movie about a woman who accomplished plenty through her own activism decades ago?
That’s why you should see Citizen Jane: Battle For the City, a new documentary by director Matt Tyrnauer that spotlights spunky journalist Jane Jacobs, who fought against the larger-than-life forces of urban development in New York City in the ’60s — helping to preserve the city’s beloved and iconic Washington Square Park, among other places.
The film focuses on how Jacobs took on urban planner Robert Moses — a money-driven real estate titan some have compared to Trump — and helping to thwart his efforts to bulldoze much of Manhattan and cover it with concrete housing projects and superhighways. And while Jacobs succeeded in many tangible, triumphant ways, what might hit viewers the hardest is just how relevant the movie and its themes feel right now, in 2017, amid a different kind of political upheaval.
Citizen Jane opens, fittingly, in New York City theaters on April 21 followed by a dozen other theaters around the U.S. (find the full list of locations here). If you don’t get a chance to catch the film on the big screen, stay tuned for an update here on where you can stream it once it becomes available online.
If you take nothing else away from the movie, simply be inspired by Jacobs’s fight against a real estate magnate with far more money and power than she. It’s a much-needed reminder that our voices, while small on their own, become much louder and more effective when we unite.