The sun sets on New York’s five boroughs

    URBANISATION: A glimpse into the collective consciousness of a city and its citizens, The Hottest August offers a mirror onto the registered anxiety of contemporary survival strategy.

    Brett Story’s The Hottest August is atmospheric filmmaking at its best. Its shots of the New York skies and rooftops are lyrical, yet what hangs memorably thick in its air is the prospect of the planet finally reckoning with the politics of capitalism and endlessly deferred consequences. Director Brett Story takes us on a journey, as lightly humorous as it is steeped with foreboding, through New York’s five boroughs, surveying the population on changes to the city and their thoughts of the future. With an ear for anecdote and a delight in humanity’s tics, she chats with a cross-section of residents, from skaters in the projects to ‘20s jazz revivalists to a fitness instructor and a retired policeman.

    hottest-august-new york-city-doc
    The Hottest August, a film by Brett Story

    Racism rears its head not infrequently, even before news footage on a television in a laundromat shows the 2017 white supremacist car attack in Charlottesville. One man atop a bar stool says he prefers to term racism as «resentment». In a blue-collar area that was once prominently Irish and Italian, a middle-aged couple sitting in their driveway are more amiably circumspect, but unease simmers in their references to the heightened insecurity they perceive more recent immigrants as having brought, and their belief that «everybody wants a job, but nobody . . .

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    Carmen Gray
    Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
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