Requiem for Detroit?

Director Julien Temple
United Kingdom / 78 min. / 2010 / English

Dystopia today. The old American industrial leader turned ghost town. Musicians automobile executives, sociologists and activists get together with Temple to clear up what happened with Detroit, a spectral city that would seem to be living in the worst of futures. 



Dystopia today. In this TV documentary directed by Temple in 2012, we enter the streets of Detroit, “The first post-industrial American city.” From the opening minutes, it’s all about decadence. Motor City, the iconic American industrial leader, hot seat of Ford and the great automobile industries, is no more.  As John Sinclair, former manager of MC5, affirms: “you can drive through Detroit for hours and see nothing but devastation”. In fact, as Temple himself claims, it’s like entering the last days of the Mayan Empire, or strolling around Pompey ten minutes after the catastrophe. Everything seems to have been abandoned in the nick of time, producing a disarming sensation of mass exodus: of nuclear apocalypse. Martha Reeves (from Martha & The Vandellas), Mytch Ryder, Sinclair, car executives, sociologists and activists get together to unravel what went down in Detroit, a city without a rush hour. Echoes of Motown and MC5 float around in the background like phantasmagorical ghosts of a past century, and Detroit appears light years into the future. The worst possible future.



Film web

Showing format


in festivals

Lowell Boileau; John Sinclair; Mitch Ryder; Henry Ford

Caroline Richards

Steve Organ

George Hencken

Film company

Film distributor
BBC Worldwide

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