My Brooklyn

Who has a right to live in cities and determine their future?
Allison Lirish Dean (Producer, Researcher)
Year Released
Film Length(s)
77 mins
Closed captioning available
Remote video URL


Who has a right to live in cities and determine their future?

Featured review

For those of us who teach about gentrification, I cannot imagine a better resource than My Brooklyn. Anyone who cares about real cities, and real rights to the city, needs to get their hands on a copy of My Brooklyn.
Don Mitchell
Distinguished Professor of Geography, Syracuse University


My Brooklyn follows director Kelly Anderson's journey, as a Brooklyn gentrifier, to understand the forces reshaping her neighborhood. The film documents the redevelopment of Fulton Mall, a bustling African-American and Caribbean commercial district that - despite its status as the third most profitable shopping area in New York City - is maligned for its inability to appeal to the affluent residents who have come to live around it. As a hundred small businesses are replaced by high rise luxury housing and chain retail, Anderson uncovers the web of global corporations, politicians and secretive public-private partnerships that drive seemingly natural neighborhood change. The film's ultimate question is increasingly relevant on a global scale: who has a right to live in cities and determine their future?


Anderson's sensitive study of gentrification … traces a tale of aggressive rezoning, multimilliondollar development deals and racial displacement. The history of the American city is in itself one of cyclical displacement, but here the apparent lack of transparency and official callousness are especially troubling.
Jeanette Catsoulis
The New York Times
A great pedagogical tool. It can't help but provoke informed discussion on the hot everyday issues of living in a changing city.
Peter Marcuse
Professor of Urban Planning, Columbia University
My Brooklyn provides an excellent analysis of gentrification, using personal reflections, historical background and a look at the complex process of public policy making. It is a powerful tool for sparking discussion and debate.
Tom Angotti
Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, Hunter College
My Brooklyn is persuasive in making the case that gentrification was, is, and continues to be even more racially motivated and systematic than conventional wisdom suggests.
Michael Nordine
Village Voice
My Brooklyn has changed the narrative discourse on gentrification and development in New York City. It has made the gentrifier self-aware, and the long time resident empowered to stake claim.
Lenina Nadal
Communications Director, Right to the City Alliance
How does gentrification change the character, commerce, and culture of an urban area? My Brooklyn answers these often disturbing and confusing questions. This excellent documentary is chock-full of captivating stories and straight-no-chaser analysis of how profit motive and class warfare in favor of wealthy people trumps the interests of the working and middle classes. This film's depictions of where democracy in the new New York is headed may be hard to swallow, but political movements for social and economic fairness are impossible without learning and discussing what the filmmakers captured in My Brooklyn.
Brian Purcell
Professor of Africana Studies, Bowdoin College
My Brooklyn is an emotional and visually rich account of the eviction of blacks and immigrants from the heart of Brooklyn. The film challenges us to look beneath the gloss of gentrification that overtakes so many cities today to trace the winners and losers of urban redevelopment.
Sharon Zukin
Prof. of Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center
Striking a fine balance between personal journal and political expose Kelly Anderson's docu examines the unnatural causes of changes wrought in Brooklyn neighborhoods due to gentrification … this absorbing pic eschews militant outrage for a quietly devastating look at social commodification.
Ronnie Scheib
At first My Brooklyn looks like the kind of studious documentary that well-meaning liberals put audiences to sleep with. By the end, though, it's likely to have viewers boiling… [Anderson and Dean] explode the comforting idea that the gentrification changing downtown Brooklyn is just an organic process of some people moving in and others moving out.
Greg Evans & Craig Seligman
Bloomberg News
Elegantly weaves together the personal, political, and policy dimensions of gentrification ... A powerful tool for opening our eyes to the institutional underpinnings of neighborhood change.
Angela Blackwell
Founder, PolicyLink

Awards and Screenings

Broadcast, America ReFramed (PBS World), 2014
Cinema Politica Audience Choice Award, 2014
Audience Award, Brooklyn Film Festival, 2012
DOXA Documentary Festival, 2013
Oxford Film Festival, 2012
This Human World Human Rights Film Festival (Vienna), 2012
Martha's Vineyard Film Festival, 2013
Lichter Frankfurt International Film Festival, 2013
Belfast Film Festival, 2013
Architecture and Design Film Festival, 2013

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Closed Captioning

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

Resources for Educators

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